IAB survey demonstrates the negative impact of advertising on the mobile experience

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Surveying 3,600 mobile users from 18 countries spanning North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) ‘Always On – A Global Perspective of Mobile Consumer Experience’ study reveals how mobile advertising is having an adverse effect on many people’s day-to-day experiences on their mobile phones.

The research illustrates that consumer awareness of mobile advertising is very high, with 90 per cent of those surveyed recalling seeing an advertisement on mobile within the first few days of viewing it on their mobile browser. However, the study also found that on average 61 per cent reported seeing more ads compared to a year ago, and 54 per cent found that mobile advertising has become more intrusive in that time. A staggering 90 per cent said ad intrusiveness had not improved or had worsened.

Ben Williams, head of operations at Adblock Plus, commented on the report: “While the study and much of the coverage around it has sought to present the findings as a vindication of mobile advertising, the research actually points to an increasingly hazardous situation. Clearly the market for mobile advertising is growing, with over half of respondents reporting seeing more advertising since last year, and the 90 per cent recall statistic might be seen by some as an indicator that this growth is synonymous with increased advertising effectiveness. Moreover, it is a mistake to prioritise these broad statistics over those that indicate how mobile advertising is actually experienced by its target audience – only 6 per cent felt more favourably towards the brand and/or product after seeing the ad.

In fact, over half of respondents found that mobile advertising has become more intrusive over the last year, meaning this increase in quantity is detrimental to the quality of the mobile experience for most people – there is more advertising on mobile, and it is increasingly getting in the way of an enjoyable mobile browsing experience. This chimes with our own research with Global Web Index (GWI), where we found that 47 per cent of smart phone user respondents would like to completely block all ads on their mobile phones.”

Ben went on to look at this from an advertiser’s perspective: “Considering that these ads only positively affected perceptions of the brand and/or product for 6 per cent of users, and a similar percentage visited the brand’s website or searched for more information, this high recall statistic doesn’t necessarily indicate many benefits for advertisers. While the financial arithmetic might make sense in some cases, aggravating consumers by impeding their daily experience of using their mobile phones is likely to be detrimental in the long term. They therefore need to adjust their focus so that any advertising they do on mobile is respectful and takes into account the way people use these ubiquitous devices that play such an important role in their lives.”

The full report can be downloaded from here.

Source: Internet Advertising Bureau

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