Auto-play video and pop-ups named among the most ‘annoying’ ad formats

The report by the Coalition For Better Ads, which includes members such as Procter & Gamble, Google, Facebook, the World Federation of Advertisers and the IAB, is hoping to eradicate annoying ad formats.


The Coalition for Better Ads has released its first report today (22 March) as it details the ‘most disruptive’ ad formats for mobile and desktop.

More than 25,000 consumers across the US and Europe rated 104 ad experiences for desktop web and mobile web. And according to the report, pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, “prestitial” ads that viewers have to engage with before they can view the content and large sticky ads were each ranked the most annoying for desktop advertising.

In the mobile environment, meanwhile, there was a similar mix as pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads that take over more than 30% of the screen, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, ads with a countdown, full-screen ads that consumers have to scroll past, and large sticky ads were listed as the most disruptive.

The report shows a “long, skinny ad on the right-hand side” ranked as the most popular ad format for desktop, while a “sticky, 320×50 ad on the top” ranked best for mobile.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson: The Coalition for Better Ads is destined for a glorious failure

Responding to a question asked by Marketing Week during a press briefing yesterday (21 March), Chuck Curran, an attorney with Venable LLP and a counsel to the coalition, advised marketers that ads must provide consumers with “elements of control” – such as the ability to turn sound on or off – in order to resonate and sit within the coalition’s quality boundaries.

‘Issuing a wake-up call’

The Coalition For Better Ads is hopeful these results will be used by the industry to improve the user experience, and is now looking to extend the study to other regions such as Asia.

“We hope these initial standards will be a wake-up call to brands, retailers, agencies, publishers and their technology suppliers, and that they will retire the ad formats that research proves annoy and abuse consumers,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB.

“If they don’t, ad blocking will only rise, advertising will decline, and the marketplace of ideas and information that supports open societies and liberal economies will slide into oblivion.”

Despite Rothenberg’s strong statement, the Coalition emphasised that the standards are “voluntary in nature”, and aim to educate the ad industry instead of penalise it.

He added: “The primary goal of the Coalition is to generate information to really allow a broad spectrum of stakeholders to take action specific to their own audiences. We want to emphasise our desire that this info is shared by different participants. It’s not just the responsibility of publishers or advertisers to make good use of these findings.”

The coalition, which includes big brand names such as P&G, Google and Facebook, was set up in Dmexco last year in a bid to rid the internet of annoying ads and create global standards for online advertising.

It had previously announced its intention to create consumer-based and data-driven standards the advertising industry could use to improve the consumer ad experience – and the ‘most disruptive’ ads research is thought to be the Coalition’s first step in this direction.



There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Ironic, when you click this link in google you get filling pop-up add in front of this article.

  2. Dalin Ard 26 Mar 2017

    As a consumer who comes into contact with online advertisements daily, I agree that the most annoying ones are those that disrupt what I am expecting. For me personally, ads that take up a large portion of the screen and / or have sound that has to be muted are by far the most annoying and contrary to that company’s marketing goals, my view of the company decreases. In my opinion, ads that are the least annoying are those that I am expecting to see such as before YouTube videos or off to the side of the screen. More often than not, if a website has one of more of these annoying forms of advertising I will leave the website completely and find what I am looking for elsewhere. I have recently installed an AdBlocker on my browser that prevents any and all advertisements which is very nice for me as the consumer, but must be very frustrating to those who make money from the ads. Some websites such as Forbes and ABC News won’t allow you to use their website if you have this AdBlocker installed, and once again for me personally, I have stopped using these websites in their entirety. There seems to be a war on advertisements as companies are trying to force consumers to see their ads and consumers are trying to prevent these annoying forms of marketing from disrupting their daily routines. As a consumer, I recommend to companies who seek to advertise online to use simple, non-pervasive, and soundless ads in the corners of websites. That way, consumers can click on your ad if they want to, or ignore it if they want to. As mentioned in the article, taking this choice away from the consumer does not make them more fond of your company, but rather, does the opposite.

  3. li cheng 4 Apr 2017

    The popularity of the Internet has changed people’s lifestyles and spending habits, more and more people began to rely on the Internet to bring the efficient and massive information. When the advertisers see the high profit of Internet advertising, began to use the site, search engines, videos, articles and other network resources into the links, pictures, pop-up information and other content to the Internet users to push ads. However, when more and more advertising regardless of time, place, Internet users need to appear in the Internet users browsing the page, the Internet advertising from the initial freshness of the Internet users slowly become the most common in the process of browsing the Internet encountered things! How to get rid of the traditional Internet advertising delivery for Internet users to provide immediate needs of the fine advertising to improve the poor user experience has become the current site and advertising industry research new direction.
    However, advertising is advertising, its existence is to create a shortcut to the flow of information. Regardless of the form of advertising, the person who created it – the original intention of the advertiser is to let the target audience access to their own product brand information. So the reason to say that we have to do is not put an end to advertising, but to avoid “disturb” advertising, “mandatory” advertising, this advertising not only can not promote consumer intentions even more likely to produce resentment; Why not make it a “help” ad, provide the information and services you need instantly, and minimize the contrast between the content you want to browse and the information that your ad conveys, so that the ad is not excluded, natural, Good quality advertising.

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