Let’s face it.  Most folks don’t like ads.  They put up with them in order to get free access.  But these days, more people are saying “enough is enough.”  Consumers are bombarded by more than 10,000 messages every day.  Is it any wonder they are trying to avoid looking at any more ads?

Rise of Ad Blockers

22% of laptop/desktop internet users and 9.6% of mobile users are now estimated to use Ad Blockers.  That number is likely to explode with Google’s February launch of its built-in ad blocker into the Chrome browser.  Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser with a nearly 60% share.


Why are people using ad blockers?

  1. 64% said ads are annoying and intrusive
  2. 54% said ads are disruptive
  3. 39% said ads create security concerns
  4. 36% said ads affect load time/bandwidth use
               SOURCE:  HubSpot, AdBlock Plus Research

Privacy Concerns

Some are blocking ads not because they want to avoid them, but they don’t want to let marketers track their movements and habits in order to protect their privacy and stop being cyber-stalked by retargeting ads.

The “Obnoxious Factor”

91% of consumers say ads are more intrusive than ever, according to a HubSpot study.  Online popups, ads that cover content, and long pre-roll videos top the list of consumer complaints.

The right advertisement, at the right time, is information.  If I’m in the market for a new car, an auto ad can be a good thing.  If I’m not in the market, it can be a turnoff. The sheer volume of advertising we see – and the poor quality and format of so many ads – is driving people away.

Attention Spans

There’s conflicting evidence on whether people’s attention spans are really getting shorter.  There’s no doubt, though, that their tolerance level has shrunk in a faster-paced, “I want it now” world.  Nearly half of web users abandon a site if it doesn’t load in 2 seconds or less, according to a study done by Akami.  Tough to see ads if they leave that fast.

Next Generation Concerns

It’s only going to get harder.  56% of Gen Xers actively avid ads, according to Kantar Millward Brown’s Ad Reaction study. 69% of GenZ (age 16-19) avoid ads.  When Gen Z encounters ads, they tend to skip them three second faster than Gen Xers.

Is Consumer Aversion to Advertising Reversible?

Marketers need to understand the answers to some tough questions:

  • Are viewers so distracted that they can’t focus for more than a few seconds anymore?
  • Is the ad experience generally not conducive to longer attention spans?
  • Is it the ad creative or message that is not compelling or relevant enough to warrant attention?
  • What is pushing viewer attention to brand messages towards extinction?
  • Does shrinking the ads make them more likeable or at the very least, tolerable?
  • And, is it possible to reverse this?