We are all plagued by them. They find us on the Web, on TV, on social sites, and in email.
I’m talking about bad ads. And many Americans are fed up and not going to take it anymore—at least according to a recent Harris Survey for InsightsOne, which developed the study to determine Americans’ attitudes towards the ads they see every day.
Says the report: “Annoying ads are pervasive, with 91% of Americans reporting they see them. While email spam and junk mail tend to get the most attention, it was surprising to discover that almost as many Americans are annoyed by website ad spam (52%) as are annoyed by email spam/sidebar ads (55%).”
That perennial bad boy of bad advertising, postal junk mail, actually ranked fifth (37%) behind television ads (60%).
The survey of American adults 18 and older found that “87% are now putting their foot down on the number of irrelevant ads they are willing to see before they ignore a company completely.”
Ignore. Completely. Stern stuff.
For example, the InsightsOne release notes that almost a quarter (23%) of Americans say they will completely ignore a company “after seeing just one spam email or online ad, and 43% say they will ignore a company completely after seeing as many as two.”
If this survey is in any way accurate or representative, then it could have dire consequences for a brand if its advertising falls into the “bad ad” category as determined by consumers. Consider: “The results [of the survey] may create challenges for ecommerce companies that advertise and sell over the web. In fact, 88% of Americans say they have even been ‘flooded’ with online ad spam, and 91% of those say they take action when it occurs. 36% of those who have ever been flooded with online ad spam say they would leave a website because of too many irrelevant ads, and many more would begin to feel that the company doing the advertising doesn’t respect their time (26%). For email, 60% will unsubscribe from future messages, but a surprising 45% will simply ignore future communications.”
Got that? In other words, bad advertising is much worse than no advertising. Maybe that’s nothing new, but in this digital age, it is easier for consumers to act on their feelings than ever before—all it takes is a quick negative tweet, a Facebook Unlike, or a click of the unsubscribe button.
“The American people are tired of companies that appear to not respect or understand their needs,” commented Waqar Hasan, CEO of InsightsOne. “The results of the study show that consumers have a real limit on what they’re willing to put up with, and this very real problem will have a negative impact on a company’s income statement if they don’t do something about it.”
In short, this is simply one side of the customer experience coin—the downside. Customers today expect relevant and useful ad experiences, they want to see what they want to see when and where they want to see it, and they will not tolerate anything less. Bad ads just, well, piss them off.
Concluded Hasan: “People are fed up with seeing ads and other communications that aren’t relevant to them as individuals.”
Click here for an infographic that offers highlights from the 2013 Bad Ads survey.