- Recent research from Accenture Digital Consumer surveyed 28,000 people in 28 countries and found that more than 84% reported they were being shown too many ads when viewing digital content.
- What might be even more worrying for the digital ad industry is that 73% of 14-17 year-old knew about ad blocking compared to only around 50% for respondents 55 and over.
- Another figure that could concern the industry, 42% reported planning on paying to opt-out of video ads, although the data wasn’t broken down to desktop and mobile users.
The main takeaway from the research is the digital advertising industry is not effectively serving itself or its end users. Consumers have spoken and they've expressed that they're being served ads they simply don’t want to see – even going so far as possibly paying to avoid the video ad format altogether.
If the rise in ad blocking tech over the last couple of years, a trend that really began catching steam in the second half of 2015, wasn’t enough of a wakeup call for the ad industry, this Accenture research should make it abundantly clear that something needs to change.
Gavin Mann, Accenture’s global broadcast lead, told Ad Exchanger, “Don’t focus too much on fighting the current problem, which is the ad-blocking technology.”
Mann added the problem lies within the industry, “Focusing the majority of their efforts on fighting piracy distracted them from reinventing their own business model.”
Overall, the industry has been very inconsistent on its messaging for industry players on the topic. In October, Scott Cunningham, senior VP-technology and ad operations at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, said the industry had lost track of the user experience, and in “chasing dimes” has cost the industry in dollars of consumer trust. Just three months later in January, IAB President Randall Rothenberg directly called out ad blocking tech companies at the group’s annual leadership meeting stating ad blocking was a war on diversity and freedom of expression.
While the industry has been allowed to self-regulate, particularly in the U.S. market, after stepping down from a six-year stint as Commissioner of the FTC, Julie Brill said self-regulation wasn’t working for the ad industry.
If the consumers Accenture surveyed for its research get heard, the ad industry might find out it’s not going to get to choose how the balancing act between user experience, privacy and what the industry wants plays out.