Stop blasting us with unwanted sound, web users tell advertisers

One of online users’ biggest turn-offs is when websites run ads that play sound without prior warning, says a survey published today.  

According to the survey of 7,000 visitors to News Digital Media sites, 70% said ads playing sound automatically are not okay, with 59% surfing with their sound turned off to avoid it playing unexpectedly. And in another warning around attention-grabbing ads, 57% said they would like a brand less if they found its ad annoying, although most said they wouldn’t bother to tell the advertiser that.

But the Connecting Campaigns study suggests that relevance could outweigh privacy concerns when it comes to targeted advertising. A total of 45% of respondents said they would prefer to receive ads that are targeted to their interests – nearly twice the number those who did not.

The survey also said that  trust in the host site is a factor in the credibility of ads, with 42% of respondents finding advertising more believable on host websites they trust.

It also suggests that video has now gone mainstream, with 92% of users saying they have watched  video content on a website . However, the biggest barrier to this cited was download speed. 

Ed Smith, NDN’s chief commercial officer, said: “What we saw in the Connecting Campaigns report is a strong preference from consumers to receive advertisements targeted to their interests. Trust of the host website remains crucial to a brand developing an effective and cost efficient campaign online with 42% of respondents finding advertising more credible on host websites they trust.”

“The report’s findings provide a clearer picture on user habits that need to be considered when developing a campaign, such as, actively avoiding advertisements that automatically play sound by turning their volume down and not watching videos more than five minutes in length.”


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