Digital marketing is 'invasive and annoying', study claims

 Mark Phibbs: vice-president of marketing for EMEA at Adobe
Mark Phibbs: vice-president of marketing for EMEA at Adobe

Around half of consumers find digital ads invasive, distracting and annoying, although they are more popular in the UK than in France and Germany, according to results of a study unveiled by Adobe today.

A total of 70 per cent of UK respondents thought TV ads were more important than online campaigns in the Californian software company’s research, ‘Click Here: State of Online Advertising’.

Meanwhile, consumers believed online ads were "annoying" (62 per cent), "invasive" (45 per cent) and "distracting" (44 per cent).

The Adobe study questioned a total of 3,004 consumers across the UK, France and Germany, as well as 752 marketers in the three countries, including around 250 in the UK.

Despite the negative perception of online ads among many of the respondents, web ads still appeared in the top three preferred advertising methods in the UK – the only country where this was the case.

In the UK, 39 per cent preferred print magazines and 23 per cent preferred TV ads, while 12 per cent favoured websites.

In France, 31 per cent favoured print magazines, 24 per cent preferred billboards and 23 per cent favoured TV ads. In Germany, print magazines were preferred by 28 per cent of respondents, billboards by 23 per cent and window displays by 21 per cent.

Mark Phibbs, the vice-president of marketing for EMEA at Adobe, said: "Some digital advertising is failing to hit the mark. While digital provides great promise, often it is not being delivered in an emotionally compelling or targeted way."

The report highlights that content is king in the ad world, with 68 per cent of UK respondents believing ads should tell a unique story. Ad campaigns of note included John Lewis and Guinness.

Phibbs said: "The ability to tell a story and connect with consumers is still as vital as ever."

Humour is also important, with 92 per cent of respondents saying funny ads are more effective than ‘sexy’ ones.

Phibbs said: "We think online advertising can learn from traditional advertising in three ways. Is it beautiful and eye-catching? Is it integrated? Do consumers have control over it?

"Creative agencies have had decades to get traditional advertising right. It’s not wholly surprising that online and digital isn’t resonating to the same degree – not only is it is still relatively in its infancy as an advertising channel, but the digital landscape and the corresponding opportunities for brands are constantly changing."

In terms of social media such as Facebook, 49 per cent of respondents said they would like to see a "dislike" option for a brand, while 76 per cent of those surveyed said that targeted ads based on online behaviour could be "creepy".

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