Digital ad market in for a world of hurt according to new Accenture study

Accenture has released a new study, as part of their predictions at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas, that signals a possible consumer revolt as it relates to ad blockers. According to the study, 61 per cent of consumers are aware of options for removing advertising in digital, such as ad blockers. Additionally, a full 42 per cent of the 28,000 consumers surveyed in 28 countries, say that they would pay to eliminate advertising interruptions.

“Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for blockers because too many ads are poorly targeted,” said Gavin Mann, Accenture’s global broadcast industry lead. “In today’s world of personalized content, being forced to watch an ad that has no relevance is a missed opportunity and feels increasingly intrusive on precious screen-time. In fact, simple avoidance of content associated with heavy and repetitive irrelevant advertising will increase as consumer choice and awareness of choice increases.”

As far as demographics, more than two-thirds of those aged 18 to 24 are aware of ad blockers. 66 per cent of consumers between 25 and 34 are aware of the technology.

Emerging markets are more aware of the technology than developed markets with 65 per cent in emerging markets saying they know about the technology as opposed to 58 per cent in mature market countries. Mexico leads the way with 82 per cent awareness and, somewhat surprisingly, 55 per cent of those surveyed in the United Kingdom know about ad blockers. Further, Latin America (78 per cent) and the Middle East (69 per cent) are the most pervasive in all blocker awareness. These markets are more willing to pay to avoid ads — 47 per cent in emerging markets versus 34 per cent in developed markets.

“There’s no point in following the music industry’s failed attempts at thwarting piracy,” Mann added. “It’s futile to focus all efforts on trying to outsmart ever-evolving ad-blocking technologies to force audiences to watch ads. The industry needs to do everything possible to make ads less of an infringement on precious screen time, by building on early successes that deliver targeted, relevant and entertaining ads – in a creative style appreciated by the individual.”

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Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger is the Americas editor for The Drum. He leads the Americas editorial team’s content activity in the growing region. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is committed to sharing the most meaningful stories that benefit the global industry and its people. A Minnesota native, Zanger has covered a wide range of brands, issues and personalities, including Aloe Blacc, Seu Jorge, Wendy Clark, Susan Credle, Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and more. Fiercely dedicated to diversity, equality and talent, he has interviewed several women in leadership roles through his Exceptional Women of the World podcast.

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