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UK internet users understand importance of ads, but demand more control: report

Tyrone Stewart

AdblockBritish internet users are well-aware of the importance of advertising in order to keep the internet operating for free, but they demand more control of their experience to stop them from blocking ads.

YouGov conducted research of 2,000 UK online users, of which 878 said they have an adblocker installed on their digital devices. The survey, commissioned by AdBlock Plus maker Eyeo, found that 80 per cent of internet users recognise the importance of advertising. Because of this, they are willing to accept less invasive forms of advertising as long as they remain in control.

“The idea that online users care little about the health of the internet is a tired notion we’re pleased to disprove. Our research clearly shows most online users understand the role advertising plays sustaining the internet, which is why we’re seeing a greater shift from total adblocking to ad-filtering,” said Ben Williams, director of advocacy at Eyeo.

“Online users are happy to receive adverts so long as they remain in control but become agitated when that control is wrestled from them. Not only is this backed up in our research but also in various studies, for instance from HubSpot (83 per cent of global online users only wanted to block ads they considered invasive) and PageFair (77 per cent of US adblocking users are willing to view some ad formats in exchange for free content).”

The research also found that 71 per cent of UK adblocking users have download an adblocker because they don’t want to see ads during their online experience. Moreover, 49 per cent have installed an adblocker over concerns surrounding security and privacy.

Meanwhile, 89 per cent of adblocking users place importance in publishers making sure their ad policy is clear, providing honesty about the products and services they promote, avoiding misleading or offensive content, and never compromising user privacy.

“It’s clear online users want a fairer value exchange with publishers and advertisers. Many are willing to accept advertising to keep the internet free but only for adverts which are relevant to them,” said Williams. “Savvy publishers are readily buying into this, developing better, high-quality forms of sustainable advertising and hopefully these insights will serve to educate others. In line with increased advertising spend, the platform is in place to build on demand for better forms of advertising, in order to create a more lasting future for the internet and its stakeholders.” 

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