Consumers brassed off with so called programmatic ads online

The depth of irritation caused by programmatic ads targeting consumers for something they have already bought online has been revealed in a study for collaborative blogging platform, Niume.

The Niume research found that well over half of all UK adults, 58%, find this effect of programmatic advertising irritating with over one in four, 27%, saying it irritates them “a lot”.

These findings strongly support action taken by Apple – and being considered by mobile companies, including O2 and EE – to block digital advertising.

Commenting on the findings, John Cruickshank, Business Development Director for Niume, says: “Programmatic advertising invariably continues for the same product, or something similar, after consumers have already made an online purchase. What advertisers don’t seem to understand is just how irritating this is for consumers; and given the depth of irritation caused this clearly isn’t something that only happens occasionally but pretty much every time an online purchase is made.

“We’re always being told that programmatic advertising is great for consumers because it targets what they’re interested in and great for advertisers because it reduces wastage. The reality, however, is very different. Not only are advertisers wasting money reaching consumers after they’ve made a purchase, they’re also thoroughly irritating them in the process. Is it therefore any wonder that consumers are increasingly using ad blocking software.”

The survey of 1,000 UK adults representative of the UK population was carried out online by specialist research company, SpectrumInsight. It reveals that irritation caused by programmatic advertising after consumers have made an online purchase increases with both income and age up to 65. 

Cruickshank concludes: “This study should be something of a wake-up call for programmatic advertising. Irritation caused by programmatic ads is greatest among consumers with the greatest disposable income, which is bad news for online advertisers.”