Survey Says: 63% Of You Ignore The Ads On This Very Page

Of those of you who aren’t diligently blocking the ads on this page, 63 percent are apparently ignoring them anyway. In fact, a majority of Americans say they ignore Internet advertising the most, compared to television, radio and newspaper ads.

Results of a new Adweek Media/Harris Interactive survey of about 2,100 U.S. adults show that over six in ten respondents say they tend to ignore or disregard Internet ads. Among those who ignore online ads, two in five say they ignore banner ads (43 percent) the most, and one in five say they ignore search engine ads (20 percent) the most.

(Meanwhile, Internet ad revenues in the U.S. are at an all-time high.)

Compare that to the percentage of people who said they ignore ads on other media: television ads (14 percent), radio ads (7 percent) and newspaper ads (6 percent).

Of course, it’s a bit trickier to skip those ads or make them go away, but I digress.

Only 9 percent of Americans say they don’t ignore any of the listed types of ads.

According to the survey, there are few gender differences, although the age of the respondent in question did make a difference.

Older Americans say they ignore ads on TV the most – one in five of those 55 years and older say they ignore TV ads (20 percent), compared to 14 percent of those aged 45 to 54, 13 percent of those 35-44 years, and just 9 percent of those 18-34 years.

As far as I know, the poll didn’t take into account actual media consumption – I’m thinking younger people probably don’t watch television as much as the previous generation, which could be an easy explanation for the variation in percentages. Put simply, it’s easier to say you don’t ignore TV ads when you hardly ever actually watch television anymore.

But Adweek Media / Harris Interactive also found that younger Americans are more likely to ignore radio ads the most, compared to older people – 11 percent of those 18-34 years do, compared to 6 percent of those 55 years and older).

Also, while over two in five in all age groups say they ignore Internet banner ads the most, those aged 35-44 are most likely to say this, as almost half ignore these ads (47 percent) compared to between 42 percent and 43 percent of the other age groups.

So what does all this mean? Not much, really, as none of the results are to be deemed terribly surprising. The kids will be alright, so to speak.

In my mind, the Internet has evolved a lot since it started becoming a mass medium, and the Web will continue to change and morph and transform. Digital advertising will, too.

Which, of course, is no guarantee that the percentage of people who ignore ads will eventually increase even more. I’m just saying the ads will be different from today’s.

Besides, in these times of accelerating media convergence, why would we bother to keep stamping the ‘television’, ‘radio’ and ‘Internet’ labels on the media we read, watch and listen to? I’ve seen the future of media, and it’s one big melting pot.

As for Web advertising – one can only hope brands and publishers alike realize that they need to get more creative and work on better targeting, not try and find ways to make surfing the Internet even more of a nightmare by throwing more intrusive advertising units and more fucking “welcome screens” our way.

And marketers, Hugh MacLeod and myself would like you to never ever forget: