More than half of Britons use ad-blockers online

More than half of Britons now use online ad-blockers whilst browsing the internet, with more than three fifths findings ads ‘annoying’ and two fifths admitting they are intrusive.

According to new research commissioned by a leading performance marketing agency in Europe, more than half of Britons polled admit to using an ad-blocker online whilst browsing the internet, with males slightly more likely to do so than females, and those living in the East Midlands more inclined to use ad-blockers than any other region.

More than three fifths of Britons who use online ad-blockers do so as they find internet advertisements ‘annoying’, with a further two fifths agreeing they are ‘intrusive’ and ‘disruptive’ and more than a third finding the ads they were targeted with as ‘irrelevant’; according to new research.

Research undertaken in spring 2017 on behalf of affilinet polled a nationally representative sample of 2,043 British adults, as part of a wider study into online consumer behaviour, media consumption and shopping habits.

All participants were initially asked the question, “Do you use an ad-blocker?” to which 20.5 per cent answered “Yes, all the time”, 33.9 per cent say “Yes, sometimes” and 45.6 per cent said “No”. It emerged that females were less likely to ever use ad-blockers than men, with 48.7 per cent of women but just 42.5 per cent of men stating that they never use them.

Furthermore, when respondents’ answers were filtered down according to the regions that they lived in, those from Northern Ireland were the least likely to use ad-blockers, with just 40 per cent ever doing so. In contrast, those living in the East Midlands were the most likely to use online ad-blockers, with 59.5 per cent admitting that they used them either all the time or sometimes.

Finally, all respondents who admitted to using ad-blockers were asked ‘why do you use an ad-blocker online?’ with the findings emerging as follows:

  • I find ads online annoying – 61.5 per cent
  • I find online ads intrusive – 41.5 per cent
  • I find online ads disruptive – 41.3 per cent
  • The ads I used to see were irrelevant – 33.1 per cent
  • Ads affect load time and bandwidth usage – 27.6 per cent
  • I’m seeing a lot more ads now than I did previously – 26.7 per cent
  • I have privacy concerns – 22.6 per cent
  • I found ads to contain offensive and/or inappropriate content – 12.5 per cent

Peter Rowe, UK managing director of affilinet, says, ‘It seems that whilst more than half of the respondents we questioned are users of online ad-blockers in some way, one of the biggest issues associated with wanting to remove ads is that the targeting of ads is not quite hitting the mark; with more than half confessing the ads they used to see were irrelevant. One must therefore assume that with better targeting of online ads, Britons would be more likely to re-embrace being communicated with online via brand messaging.’

Related: >Media planners rely less on insights for advertising strategy

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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