In order to justify their aggressive data-tracking practices, marketers, publishers and platforms have long argued that consumers want more relevant ads.
“People consistently tell us that if they’re going to see ads, they want them to be relevant,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in The Wall Street Journal, earlier this year.
Yet, some new research suggests consumers actually find targeted ads to be rather irksome.
In fact, 79% of U.S. respondents say they consider targeted mobile ads to be “annoying,” per a study conducted by London-based mobile technology startup Ogury.
Ironically, in this age of unbridled social media use, the findings suggest consumers are becoming sensitive to perceived privacy intrusions.
“If users feel any form of intrusion, they will be annoyed regardless of the relevancy of the message,” Thomas Pasquet, cofounder-co-CEO of Ogury, notes in the new report.
Complicating matters, many consumers also feel negatively about irrelevant ads.
In total, 55% of U.S. respondents agreed that intrusive and irrelevant ads reflect poorly on the apps or mobile websites carrying them.
In response, brands, publishers and platforms should do their best to offer consumers more choices, according to Pasquet.
“Accept anonymous data to be collected to receive customized marketing, [or] opt-out from sharing data and therefore receive irrelevant ads, or pay a fair price in exchange for a marketing free and data collection free environment,” he suggests.
The study, which examined the attitudes of nearly 140,000 U.S. mobile users, also found 82% of users globally preferred to receive marketing messages through mobile ads or emails when given a choice.
Phone alerts, such as push notifications and texts, were the least popular method among respondents.