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Nearly one in five internet users around the world block ads, according to September 2016 research. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are averse to brand messaging, however.
Kantar TNS surveyed internet users in more than 50 countries and found that overall, 18% reported blocking ads. Ad blocking was slightly more common among younger respondents; 20% of those ages 16 to 34 reported using ad blockers. The share of respondents blocking ads fell to 14% among 55- to 65-year-olds.
Ad blocking rates vary around the world, but young people tend to be particularly likely to suppress ads served to their web browsers, including on mobile devices. In the US, ad blocking internet users typically say they do it to avoid intrusive, irritating ad placements, like those that block content, follow them down the page as they scroll, or play audio and video automatically.
According to Q2 206 research from GlobalWebIndex, ad blocking users around the world are looking to resolve similar complaints. More than half (55%) said they blocked ads because too many were annoying or irrelevant, while 48% complained of ads that took up too much space and got in the way, and 44% were avoiding intrusive ads.
According to the Kantar TNS survey, blocking ads does not mean being closed off in principle to marketing messages from brands, though. Respondents were nearly twice as likely to say they had positive responses to brand content on social media as they were to say they blocked ads.
What’s more, the youngest respondents were also the most likely to say they were open to social brand content.
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