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Ad blocking: new IAB research shows that ‘adblockalypse’ is still a way off

Ad blocking may not be the end of the world as we know it, at least according to the latest research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).

A YouGov survey of 2000 or so UK adults shows a small rise in the ‘propensity’ to ad block, from 15 per cent to 18 per cent. But 40 per cent of respondents said they had no intention of blocking all ads – just the ones they don’t like presumably.

ss-ad-blocking-800x450Ad blocking is more prevalent among men surveyed (23 per cent) than women (13 per cent) and the propensity to block ads decreases with age – from 35 per cent of 18-24 year olds to 13 per cent of people aged 55 and over. The majority of respondents would still prefer ads to paying for content, they’d just like less of them and ads that were more ‘relevant.’

IAB UK CEO, Guy Phillipson says: “The small rise in people blocking ads is not unexpected considering the publicity it’s been receiving. However it does provide some perspective on the situation for those referring to an “adblockalypse.” More importantly, it also provides a clear message to the industry – a less invasive, lighter ad experience is absolutely vital to address the main cause of ad blocking.”

He’s clearly right but with more and more digital spend via programmatic, computerised buying it’s hard to see how the dire effect of much online advertising can be mitigated, at least in the short term.

Online is expected to account for more than 50 per cent of UK adspend any time soon and most advertisers have based their marketing budgets now and in the future on this. A major rethink of digital creative work and media plans (possibly involving people) is the last thing they want.

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