Study Shows What Consumers Understand About Changing Ad Preferences, Data Regulations

The advertising industry continues to roll out new protocols around online data and consumer privacy. Are consumers really aware of the changes? What are their thoughts?  

Deciding how to approach customers and reach new ones as the industry navigates a post-cookie and post-identity reality isn’t easy. Consider these findings from thousands of consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom.  

LoopMe’s opt-in GDPR compliant survey, fielded in March 2021, was delivered to 142,976 consumers via their mobile device. The data is based on responses from 2,410 U.S. consumers and 3,395 UK consumers.

The study is titled Understanding Consumer Ad Preferences & Online Data Regulations. As it shows, consumers do not believe their online data is secure and don't understand how it is used.

  • 58% of U.S. consumers do not believe their online data is more secure than it was a year ago, compared with one in two UK consumers.
  • 15% have a clear understanding around how companies use their online data for advertising, compared with 18% in the UK.
  • 34% do not read website cookie and privacy policies before continuing with content browsing or video viewing, compared with 48% in the UK.



UK respondents are somewhat more trusting with regard to the security of their online data with one in two saying they do not believe in their online data being more secure than a year ago, vs. 58% in U.S.

It turns out consumers prefer the exchange of ads for free content.

  • 85% of U.S. consumers view advertising in exchange for video or editorial content, compared with 88% in the UK.
  • 49% of US consumers are most comfortable receiving ads the way they have been delivered for decades, via TV, radio, and direct mail.
  • One in five U.K. consumers are most comfortable receiving ads on websites and prefer this type of advertising to receiving ads via their social media feed.
  • 75% of U.S. consumers find unsolicited calls and texts the most intrusive experience, compared with 68% in the UK.

Websites and apps help consumers make their smartest purchasing decisions.

  • 27% of U.S. consumers find websites and apps the most helpful in making smart purchasing decisions -- ranking highest above all other types of advertising, compared with 29% in the U.K. 
  • One in two U.S. consumers find repetitive creative messaging the most off-putting form of advertising, compared with 45% in the UK.
  • One in five U.S. consumers find the most off-putting ads are those for products they do not need, compared with 22% in the UK.
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