Promotional feature
Adobe Digital Index

European smartphone users want personalised ads to be "less creepy."

European smartphone users want personalised ads to be "less creepy."

Smartphone users in the UK, France and Germany aren’t fans of personalised ads, according to a survey of consumers in the US and Europe carried out by Adobe Digital Index (ADI).

Although most consumers like personalisation, those in the UK, France, and Germany were much more likely to say they didn’t think ads should be personalised in any way. Those between the ages of 18 and 34 in each country were more likely to like personalisation, but called for it to be better done and to be "less creepy".

All 18-34 All 18-34 All 18-34 All 18-34
Like/see they are as personalised as they need to be 29% 35% 20% 25% 17% 12% 18% 17%
Like/But see as too intrusive/"creepy" 20% 23% 21% 24% 24% 32% 28% 31%
Like/But they are no more compelling than a standard ad 22% 30% 17% 28% 20% 35% 15% 26%
Don't think ads should be personalised 29% 12% 41% 22% 39% 21% 39% 26%

Despite the well-publicised rise in ad blocking, half or more of respondents said they would be willing to watch between three and four video ads in exchange for access to premium content. Those between the ages of 18 and 34 showed an even higher willingness to make this trade-off, as do those with large smartphone screens.

Willing to watch 3-4 ads in exchange for access to premium content 60% (67% for 18-34, 69% for 35-49) 48% (59% for 18-34) 47% (66% for 18-34, 56% for those with >5in smartphones) 48% (62% for 18-34, 61% for those with >5in smartphones)
Skip because ad is a repeat 16% (27% for 18-34) 12% (22% for 18-34) 15% 25%
Skip video ads regardless 30% 35% 26% 33%
Prefer being able to opt out before the ad even starts 55% 56% 53% 51%

Advertisers need to work on providing more compelling content, though – the survey revealed mixed opinions from consumers on whether they were being shown that are valuable or compelling. Those in the US and UK were more likely to have seen improvement, with those in the US most likely to say advertisers were "much better" (driven largely by women). Those in France were most likely to say they had become "much worse."

Improvement 42% 45% 31% 39%
Much Better 18% (23% for women, 13% for men) 15% 9% 10%
Much Worse 13% (19% for men, 7% for women) 12% (20% for those 65+) 15% (22% for those 65+) 8%

"Brands have to deliver relevant advertising, but advertisers who attempt personalised advertising before they have built centralised, cross-device audience databases risk turning consumers off completely," says John Watton, director of digital marketing, EMEA at Adobe. "The clock is ticking to get this right."

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