Consumer Attitudes on Marketing 2019

Privacy Concerns Mount, and Ad Blocking Isn’t Going Away

Consumers are frustrated about their digital media experiences. A substantial chunk of them have responded by blocking ads on their devices. They’re rejecting a poor user experience when they do so. And many are becoming more vocal about their objections to how their personal information is used to create that experience.

How many people block ads in the US and Western Europe?

We estimate that one in four US internet users have installed some type of ad blocking software on at least one of their devices—mostly on desktops and laptops. Ad blocking is somewhat more common in France and Germany and less so in the UK, with growth in the ad blocking population slow to flat across the four markets. But that doesn’t mean ad blocking is going away.

Why do internet users want to avoid seeing ads?

Internet users block ads because of heavy ad loads (slowing down page load times) and intrusive formats like autoplay video with sound. But privacy concerns are also driving behaviors, including but not limited to ad blocking. Some internet users delete cookies or use browsers like Safari and Firefox that inhibit persistent tracking to protect their information.

What makes consumers more tolerant of advertising?

Research about consumer digital ad preferences has a few themes. Consumers tend to be relatively open to advertising on social media during lean-back experiences like watching TV and at other times when they’re relaxing, like when they’re using their phones right before bedtime. Some research suggests consumers are also more tolerant of relevant ads—but surveys that ask people if they’re willing to give up their personal information in exchange for such experiences make relying on relevance a tricky proposition for marketers.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report includes our latest estimates of ad blocking in France, Germany, the UK and US, as well as an update on consumer views on advertising and associated personal data use.

US Internet Users' Attitudes Toward Personal Data Use, April 2019 (% of respondents)

KEY STAT: About three-quarters of US internet users are concerned about how tech companies are using their data for commercial purposes, and only about one in 10 are OK with that data being used for relevant ads, according to an April 2019 survey by the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) and CivicScience.

This article originally appeared on eMarketer.