Most money spent on web ads is going down the drain because a majority of users (57 percent) rarely or never pay attention to them, says new…

imageMost money spent on web ads is going down the drain because a majority of users (57 percent) rarely or never pay attention to them, says new research by Addvantage Media for YouGov (via AOP).

Just 12 percent of visitors to “large” websites often look at ads, and ABC1s (ie. the demographic many ads target) are less likely than C2DEs to pay attention. But social networks are proving better ad platforms than general sites – a lower number, 26 percent, of users shun ads there, though 36 percent say they rarely pay attention. In contrast to all this, specialist sites are far more effective than general-interest sites for ad delivery, with 73 percent of users saying they pay attention to ads there.

The study, which surveyed 2,013 UK adults, could show what we already knew through our own experience – it’s mighty easy to focus on content instead of web banners. Or the extent to which ads really do work could be under-reported by proud users who would rather say they ignored the pay-for spots. Full details on PCUK

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  1. law firm website design Saturday, February 14, 2009

    That's some great research. Does it say why they ignore it? Is it just over saturation of the ads?

  2. random research based on apanels is fine- but as you suggest – it being user reported is a huge issue. The ROI is all that matters, and it suggests a much better picture.

  3. It is true that most people do not pay attention to the ads but this is attributed also to the zero creativity in the ad and also the kind of product that is being advertised.

  4. Mashups, video mashups, are the future I feel. Re-editing tv material to make music videos that are also advertisements.

  5. Robert, Interesting article. I believe that my company, Chitika, is the first online advertising solution that knows when not to display an ad – http://chitika.com/blog/2009/01/09/chitika-banks-on-not-showing-ads/ . Conversely when our ads display, they are highly relevant and have high click through rates. We have awards and patents to back up our solution.

  6. but how does that jibe with a chief marketer report nearly a month ago that found that individuals exposed to display ads were, on average, 155% more likely to conduct searches relative to ads they were exposed to?

  7. Houston Search Engine Optimiza Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    There are too many options available to incorporate ads into a sites content rather than placing banners all over the place. If a sponsor looks recommended as opposed to a paid ad it's held in a higher regard.

  8. People don’t want to be sold random crap they don’t need, and try to block out as many ads as possible. Thank you TiVo.

  9. CrazyCousinLance Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    As a general rule, people will not look at ads when they go to a site to read an article, but when they are looking for something in particular, and an ad for what they need happens to be there, that is good advertising.  It most cases it is crazy to place disassociated adds all over your site unless it is related to your site.

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