Most People Ignore Web Ads, Especially On General-Interest Sites: Research

imageMost money spent on web ads is going down the drain because a majority of users (57 percent) rarely or never pay attention to them, says new research by Addvantage Media for YouGov (via AOP).

Just 12 percent of visitors to “large” websites often look at ads, and ABC1s (ie. the demographic many ads target) are less likely than C2DEs to pay attention. But social networks are proving better ad platforms than general sites – a lower number, 26 percent, of users shun ads there, though 36 percent say they rarely pay attention. In contrast to all this, specialist sites are far more effective than general-interest sites for ad delivery, with 73 percent of users saying they pay attention to ads there.

The study, which surveyed 2,013 UK adults, could show what we already knew through our own experience – it’s mighty easy to focus on content instead of web banners. Or the extent to which ads really do work could be under-reported by proud users who would rather say they ignored the pay-for spots.

Meanwhile, the study says 22 percent of users only go to niche, sector-specific destinations, while only two percent visit the mainstream sites – “consumers are deserting mass media portals”. Whilst this might seem unlikely, it is accounted for by a class split – at 47 percent, many more of those in the C2DE demographic visit general-interest sites, perhaps illustrating a greater desire for targeted content on the part of ABC1 professionals.

Photo Credit: HelenN