Intrusive vs. Welcomed Ads

Every mobile user has been there. A user clicks on mobile content, with the intention of reading an article, and an ad pops up right in front of the screen – with no evident appearance that there is a way to remove it. This is precisely the description of an intrusive ad.

In fact, Inskin partnered with On Device Research and found that the most annoying ads were ones that interfered with users reading mobile content or that delayed mobile page loads. However, the ads on the sides of the page or top and bottom of the page that did not prevent users from reading the content were much more preferable.

According to Matt Newcomb, Inskin’s general manager for Australia, “it’s about finding equilibrium between the needs of consumers, publishers, and advertisers. Consumers want to access content without being annoyed by intrusive advertising, publishers want to be able to monetize their content, and advertisers want to deliver ads that drive results.”

Back in March the Coalition for Better Ads polled 25,000 people on the most annoying ads out of 104 different ad formats. As reported by, the ads formats that were the most instusive, include:

“Pop-up ads, prestitial ads (displayed before the homepage is opened), ads with density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, autoplay video ads with sound, postitial ads with countdown (displayed after a link is clicked, requiring the user to wait a number of seconds before the ad can be dismissed), full-screen scroll-over ads, and large sticky ads.”

In an effort to address the concern of intrusive ads and other concerns in the advertising industry, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) announced today the “IAB Gold Standard” initiative where they have encouraged all of their members to implement ads.txt on sites that have ads, follow the Coalition for Better Ads guidelines as well as their own recommendations, and increase brand safety.

This move by the IAB UK shows that the advertising industry is genuinely listening to users and understanding what is intrusive and annoying to mobile consumers. They are aiming to achieve a balance for the users, advertisers, and publishers alike.

So what type of ads do users like?

Toluna, a digital insights company, conducted research with over 1,000 UK adults and 47.4% of the respondents stated that ads with real people were most interesting to them. In addition, ads that are funny or portray a realistic life situation were the most appealing.

Creating advertisements that reflect the interests of the audience base, in the format that is not intrusive and follows the guidelines of the Coalition for Better Ads are ads that will yield the highest results for everyone, including the user. In fact, an ad done right will actually be welcomed by users.

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