Americans Ignoring Internet Banner Ads

Men and women similar in ads they ignore

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Search]

Online advertising is considered a good way to target and reach consumers, but nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans say they tend to ignore Internet ads, according to a new survey from Adweek Media and Harris Interactive.

Among those who ignore Internet ads, 43 percent say they ignore banner ads the most and 20 percent say they ignore search engine ads the most. Smaller percentages say they ignore television ads (14%), radio ads (7%) and newspaper ads (6%); just 9% of Americans say they don’t ignore any of the listed types of ads.




There is little difference in the ads that men and women say they tend to ignore the most. Forty-two percent of men and forty-five percent of women say they ignore Internet banner ads the most while twenty percent and twenty-one percent respectively, say they ignore search ads the most. Somewhat fewer say so about television ads (15% and 13%), radio ads (7% and 8%), and newspaper ads (6% and 5%).

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%), compared to 14% of those 45-54 years, 13% of those 35-44 years, and just 9% of those 18-34 years. Conversely, younger Americans are more likely than those older to ignore radio ads the most (11% of those 18-34 years do, compared to 6% 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%) compared to between 42% and 43% of the other age groups.

Those who have more education are more likely to ignore online advertisements-46% of both those who have some college and those who are college graduates say they ignore banner ads, compared to just 40% of those who have a high school degree or less. One-quarter (23%) of those who have graduated from college say they ignore search engine ads, compared to 17% who have a high school or less education. Those with a high school or less education, however, are more likely to ignore television ads (17% versus 12% of those who have gone to college).



Americans Ignoring Internet Banner Ads
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • http://www.cointreematrix.com/ Guest

    Interesting numbers I have not seen before. I suspect that there is still value to banner ads as we as consumers influenced by all forms of marketing more then we realize.

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com/ james

    I ignore an ad, first by placement on the page, but I do look over every now and then. It really depends if I am interested in the venue which I am at, as what they advertise can be interesting sometimes.

    I am more prone to skip over text ads, I don’t usually ignore television, print, web, ect, especially if they are crafted well.

  • Steve

    This is a survey, it depends solely on what people say, not what they do, and as we all know, discrepancy between the results of these (almost) always exists. I don’t know what the testing environment was, but I doubt that they managed to prevent bias and isolate ego, rationalization and other factors that might lead to false statistics (people like to say that they’re immune to advertising, not easily influenced and manipulated… it makes them feel more powerful and autonomous).

    Also, I don’t know how precisely was that term of “ignoring” ads defined for them. I think that some of them might have interpreted it as “not paying conscious attention to ads”, and some might have interpreted it as “noticing banners but not clicking on them”. And even if they say that they ignore them, it’s still somewhat misleading, as they have been presented — from what can be deduced from above — only with 2 options, none of which allows the possibility of not ignoring a certain % of ads, or any other intermediate value, it’s just “I ignore all the ads” VS “I never ignore any ads”.

    I believe that the only way to get the accurate data would be to test how they behave and what they do, not what they say (maybe eye-tracking & fMRI+EEG).

    I might have misinterpreted something above, though, I always leave that as a possibility.

  • Sims

    That’s a funny article, because if you look directly opposite your article, all you see is banner ads, lolol. Are they working for you? Sometimes all you read is not really the truth.

  • http://www.viralsalesman.com Nooyawka

    Do you really expect survey respondents to say they LIKE and WATCH and WANT TO SEE advertisements? I would never expect an honest answer to that question. This survey asked the wrong question in the wrong way.

  • http://www.onlinemedicineinfo.com/ online medicine

    I’m not surprised that many Americans have grown very suspicious of banner ads and other types of internet ads. I’m guessing that in-your-face types of ads we see with some banner ads, that will block your view on a web page and won

  • http://www.uContext.com Gary

    I’d really like to know the click-rates of contextual in-text links. They don’t look as obvious. I tend to click them more than banner ads. At the very least I roll my cursor over them to see where they go first.

  • http://www.coobomedia.com Guest

    I noticed you didn’t incude outdoor advertising (billboards). That’s how I compare banner ads. But the “call to action” is much more difficult driving 60 mph down the freeway. Would have liked to see the results with that comparison.

  • http://backgroundimagemaker.com William

    Thanks for the info. I think it would be more interesting to do the study without including advertisers and ad publishers. I believe people involved in advertising would be far more likely to look at ads.
    I also would like to see the breakdown between websites that are information based, and those that are primarily commercial.
    You can say whatever you want by manipulating surveys and numbers.

  • http://www.adovationz.co.nz.catalogww.htm Digby Green

    This just goes to prove what I have been saying all along is that banner ads are far too dear.

    But it does surprise me that people ignore banner ads more than text ads.

    I hardly ever look at text ads.

    But as an advertiser myself I still think banner ads have a place,

  • http://sokiwi.co.nz/ Philip

    I use proxy software on my network to block ads. By blocking ads we saved over 1.3Gb of data a month between the 6 of us that use the web at our flat!

  • Guest

    We run a niche website for aircraft. I wonder if the those compiling the stats have taken into account the type ads and where they are placed. For instance we run a site for aircraft our users are more prone to being in the aviation industry. If they see an ad for a part or service for their aircraft are they more prone to clicking on that banner ad than they would for a person going to yahoo and doing a general search and clicking on a banner ad for Dell computers.

    If this doesn’t matter then I guess the best you can tell your advertisers is banner advertising is the best branding tool in the world, wont

  • Guest

    The text ad comment is taken out of context though – when I am looking to purchase something, you bet I will be looking at the text ads because I know those are people reaching out for my business. I’m looking for the best message that attracts me.

    If I am researching and want to learn more about the product that I’m going to buy, most often in bigger ticket items, then I won’t look at text ads at all because I’m looking for information.

    Ask me if I know what banners have shown on my hotmail account on the right side – I have seen and acknowledged them all. Do I ignore them? No. You mean to ask, do I not click on them? I have not clicked on the vast majority of them. Is their message in my head? Yep. Marketing goal accomplished.

    For the question “Do you ignore internet banner ads?” and post these kind of numbers is irrelevant out of context. What is ignoring? When are you ignoring them? Why are you ignoring them? Are you ignoring the banner ads on your hotmail or yahoo email page? Do you ignore the many many blocks of ads on the right side of news sites? Do you remember the ad message that was displayed to you? Do you remember it immediately after? One hour after? One day after?

    This study could have much better information if there were a couple more of these specific questions.

    Oh, and to throw one more in there for fun – I ignore 99% of TV commercials. And I don’t know anyone without a DVR. “Only 14% ignore TV ads.” What kind of crazy study was this?

  • http://www.sharpbanners.com Banners printing

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom