Adblock Plus commissions 1st global survey rating online ads – The people’s verdict? Nonintrusive formats rule.

Ad formats rated similarly by 6,000 respondents in the US, Germany and France. Pop-ups, big banners and videos ‘intrusive’; modest banners and search ads not

Adblock Plus, the #1 most popular browser extension for blocking annoying online advertisements with over 400 million downloads, today announced the results of a study it conducted with market research firm Ipsos, which found that people find pop-ups, video and “all-around” banner ads very disruptive. The survey asked 6,000 Internet users in the United States, Germany and France to rate ad formats based upon how disruptive they found them.

Full results of the survey can be found here. A few of the more significant findings were the following:

  • Ad annoyance knows no borders: in all three countries users consistently found pop-ups, video ads, animated banner ads and “all-around” banner ads the most annoying formats. By contrast, they did not find text, search or “conservative” banner ads disruptive.
  • The terrible two: “all-around” banner ads and pop-ups. When individual rankings were figured, 63 (US), 65 (Germany) and 73 percent (France), respectively, ranked these as their top two most disruptive formats.
  • “All-around” banner ads, animated banners, pop-ups and video ads not only scored low – they got the absolute worst score more often than any formats. These types of ads got a “disruption score” of over 90 more than any other types.
  • Search, text and conservative banner ads not only scored high – they got the best score: These type of ads consistently received a “disruption score” of less than 5.

“The initial results of this survey indicate that there is a veritable ocean between how users perceive ad formats like search, text and small banners, on the one hand, and how they perceive animated ads or ads that wrap around content on the other,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “This is in line with the feedback we’ve received from our users about our Acceptable Ads initiative. Most of the ad formats that the study showed to be nondisruptive would qualify under the initiative.

“Of course, to many this might be a no-duh moment,” he continued. “But having proof from three separate countries that feelings of ad disruption crop up for similar reasons is very heartening. This should serve as another wake-up call for the industry to make innovative ads that provide value.”


There were two parts to the test. Part one asked participants what they thought of ads as a whole then asked them to rank each of  13 ad formats on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being “very disruptive” and 1 not “at all.” The second part established a score for each ad format tested, which was based upon four weighted questions and represented on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being “very disruptive” and 0 not “at all.” The purpose of including the second part was to establish more rigorous results, so in the second part participants were to rank ads compared directly with one another instead of one by one. The results of the two parts were very similar.

Adblock Plus commissioned the research firm Ipsos to conduct the study in order to evaluate users’ perception of different types of online advertising. The survey was carried out as an online questionnaire in October and November by sample populations of around 2,000 participants in the United States, France and Germany.


Adblock Plus is a free download for mobile users on iOS and Android, and a free browser add-on for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Maxthon and Opera.

About Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 400 million times, and it has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. PC Magazine named the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received readers’ choice award for best privacy/security add-on.

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