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A thumbs up for advertising online

Some interesting research data was released last month which suggested that contrary to some received wisdom, consumers are quite happy to see advertising online if it means not having to pay for content. What’s more, they’d like advertising to be personalised too.

We should note that the survey was undertaken by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), an organisation representing media companies, brands, agencies and technology firms. However, we shouldn’t presuppose that it was designed to promote advertising.

A huge majority of internet users were in favour of more advertising if it keeps websites and apps free for everyone, and over 85% said they would click on ads about things they were interested in. That said, it appears that few are really aware of the data implications or what their privacy rights are.

I suspect that the tolerance of (or even enthusiasm for!) ads concerns those which aren’t intrusive. I can’t imagine anyone approving of certain local newspaper sites which have become impossible to read now, thanks to the barrage of ads. But when it comes to things like search ads, the acceptance appears to be surprisingly positive.