Digital Ads Do More Harm Than Good: Survey

A whopping majority 70 percent of the public finds digital ads annoying and frustrating, with 72 percent saying bad advertising experiences have negatively affected their perception of a brand.

A survey conducted by Picnic in collaboration with YouGov, found that digital ads are doing more harm than good. 86 percent of the participants said a webpage containing too many ads makes them feel disorientated and more likely to ignore the advertising altogether. They identified it as their primary UX concern, followed by blocked screen content, accidental clicks, slow load speeds, and unstable page content.

Matthew Goldhill, Founder and CEO of Picnic, said if brands and media planners can shift their approach towards prioritizing ad solutions that resolve user experience issues on the web, the industry can drastically reduce the amount of ineffective, wasted, and even damaging ad spend. “This would not only be better for the environment but would also help to drive more meaningful engagement and returns for brands.”

90% of people find digital ads intrusive – Here's a 2022 solution to it

Sean Golding, Digital Development Director, AKA UK, believes minimizing wasted ad spend should be a top priority in terms of efficiency and brand safety. “To prevent waste and increase engagement, we need to find ad solutions that deliver a positive user experience on trusted, high-quality publishers.”

He said it would be a win-win for all. “Advertisers will see improved campaign performance and publishers will benefit from delivering ads that do not ruin their on-page content – keeping their readers engaged and coming back for more.”

According to the report, 71 percent of people agree that annoying or intrusive ad experiences make them less likely to purchase from that brand in the future, while 86 percent say that too many ads on a webpage make them feel overwhelmed. Survey respondents identified too many ads as the number one most annoying UX issue.

Moreover, there was a resounding negative attitude towards digital ads. Some respondents said all advertising is annoying, while some shared that they use ad blockers to avoid UX issues. But they are still in favor of an ad-funded web. 56 percent of the respondents enjoy reading free content from reputable publishers, with 39 percent saying they like discovering new products and brands on the open internet. 71 percent of respondents said they are more likely to feel positively towards ads if they were fast-loading, and didn’t force clicks or block content.

Also Read: Amazon Ads Gives Advertisers More Control

Search