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Almost half of ad blocker users will avoid a brand that uses targeted ads: report

Alyssa Clementi

Almost two-thirds of ad blocker users (63 per cent) believe that the use of personal data to create targeted ads is an invasion of privacy, according to a survey conducted by Visual Objects. Not all ad blockers agree, with the survey finding 20 per cent think targeted ads are useful, and 17 per cent don’t have an opinion on the matter.

“I think if ads get too personal that’s kind of taboo,” said Tim Smith, director of communications and media planning, IPNY. “For example, if some brand knows my age and sends me something that has my exact age in it, that’s over the line unless I have a great relationship with that brand.”

About half of ad blocker users (45 per cent) even went as far as to say they would actively avoid shopping at companies that used targeted ads. According to Visual Objects, this type of boycotting is most popular among older generations, since they are more likely to believe targeted ads may lead to data breaching and online security issues.

The survey also found that 47 per cent of Generation Xers (born between the 1960’s and 1980’s) are more likely to pay for an ad-free internet browser, since they are “tech-savvy and unwilling to tolerate intrusive ads.”

72 per cent of baby boomers strongly believe data collection for the purpose of targeted advertising is an invasion of privacy, most likely because they did not grow up with the internet and are much more skeptical than younger generations.

Ironically, Visual Objects reported that a mere 28 per cent of ad blocker users will download additional ad blocker software in 2019, such as privacy extensions.