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IAB: 10% of UK mobile users are blocking ads


By Ronan Shields, Digital Editor

June 28, 2016 | 3 min read

One-in-ten UK mobile users are blocking ads according to the IAB, which has today (29 June) launched a study that further advises advertisers on how best to communicate with consumers on such devices.

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The study, conducted by Differentology, also attempts to advise marketers on how they can produce ads that better resonate with mobile users in a report that includes a mixture of online surveys, consumer diaries and in-depth interviews. It concludes that giving consumers more control, and using “common sense”, are the way forward.

Tellingly, the report claims 10 per cent of UK mobile users blocks ads on their devices, with “millennials” accounting for two-thirds (63 per cent) of this number. Although, it also points out that four-in-five consumers also accept that ads fund the “free internet”, according to Mike Reynolds, the IAB UK’s mobile and video manager.

“Getting mobile ads right is a delicate balance – even consumers have mixed feelings about what they like,” he noted.

“For instance, ads with higher impact can be more annoying, while relevant ads based on location or behaviour are welcomed but may raise privacy concerns. With higher impact comes higher risk but the golden rules involve common sense – don’t hijack the user experience (78 per cent ‘can’t stand’ ads that take over the whole screen) and don’t omit, or make it difficult to find, the ad close/skip button, which inevitably annoys people.”

The report goes on to include consumers’ thoughts on the best the most six most commonly ads used by advertisers. This enabled the IAB to assign a superhero “persona” to each format to help advertisers deploy the best ones depending on the campaign parameters:

  • Standard Banner: “The Soldier” – Simple. Reliable. Well-liked. Never outstanding or exciting. Favoured by older and lighter users
  • Rich Media Banner: “The Star” – Everyone’s favourite. Engaging. Creative. Choice to pass or engage fully
  • Pre-Roll Video: “New Kid on the Block” – Interruptive. Engaging. Creative. Liked by Millennials
  • In-Read: “Team Jester” - Interruptive. Preferred by younger audience. Very engaging, especially with short-form content (social)
  • MPU: “Loyal Help” - Accepted by consumers. Not as engaging. Easy to miss
  • Interstitial: “Reckless Hero” - Extremely engaging. Communicative. Can be annoying. Present a clear exit

“Each format has a role to play and using a mix of high impact ads alongside standard ones, such as MPUs, will ensure you grab consumer attention without annoying them. This improves the ad experience, resulting in more effective campaigns and less reasons to block ads,” concluded Reynolds.

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