A new survey by popular ad blocker Adblock Plus has revealed that 83 per cent of those using its software are only looking to block intrusive "obnoxious" ads, suggesting a way forward for marketers faced with increasing numbers of blockers.
According to the survey, which was carried out with HubSpot Research and sampled both the blocker's userbase and other consumers, 51 per cent of respondents use blockers because they want to be in control of their own web browsing experience.
The research, which surveyed AdBlock Plus users in the US, UK, Germany and France, showed that 77 per cent of users want to filter, rather than block, ads, and 57 per cent consider search engine ads "valuable and useful".
30 per cent of respondents were not currently using an ad blocker at all, but of that section. 63 per cent said that ad blocking had a positive impact on consumers' web experience. 45 per cent of US respondents had paid for web content in the past.
"It's pretty clear from the survey results that we have two different ecosystems of online consumers – those who block ads and those who don't – and solving the dilemma of how to successfully monetize the hundreds of millions of ad blockers means reaching them on their own terms," said Tilll Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. "Those terms are already codified in our Acceptable Ads guidelines, which were developed and vetted by ad-blocking users."
Adblock Plus, which is currently running on 100m active devices, according to the company, introduced its Acceptable Ads guidelines in 2011 as a way to allow well-meaning websites and content creators to continue to receive ad revenues, with 90 per cent of Adblock Plus users electing to allow ads approved by the firm to display.
However, the company has been criticised for a lack of transparency by industry figures, with many calling for clearer guidelines on what it considers an 'acceptable ad', and IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenburg going as far as to call the company an “unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes”.
"The results of this research are very telling," said Kipp Bodnar, chief marketing officer of HubSpot. "People may be sick and tired of adds, but it's only because they don't find them impactful or valuable enough to interact with.
"Marketers need to put their customers and potential customers at the centre of the ad creation process. By focusing on providing valuable, relevant content through ads – just as they do blog posts, social content, offers and more – ads become an effective piece of the inbound marketing suite.”
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