Nearly Half of Users of Ad Blockers Will Avoid Websites that Target Them With Ads, Creating Challenges for Advertisers

Creating Challenges for Advertisers
Chart: Baby Boomers most likely to believe online data collection invades privacy

As published in

Advertisers state that data collection makes ads more relevant for online visitors. New data from Visual Objects indicates that highly targeted ads could negatively impact businesses’ potential to engage with ad-fatigued consumers.

The new survey report from portfolio website Visual Objects makes these claims and argues that personalization makes ads more useful for potential customers, but the data also shows that ad-fatigued users can be alienated. Businesses must ensure ads that rely on user data do not reveal personal information, such as age, marital status, or schooling.

Baby Boomers vs Millennials Comfort With Data Collection in Advertising

Though most ad-blocker users feel that data collection is invasive, baby boomers are the generation most averse to highly targeted advertising. Almost three-quarters of baby boomers (72%) say that data collection from ads feels like an invasion of privacy.

By contrast, 58% of millennials and 64% of Generation X respondents feel that data collection invades their privacy online. As people increasingly demand more privacy online, some browsers, like Mozilla, have started offering options for users to go ad- and tracking-free for a price. The Visual Objects survey found that younger ad blocker users are more likely to pay for this type of browsing. Almost half of Generation X users (47%) and 41% of millennials are willing to pay to browse ad-free, compared to only 29% of baby boomers.

“I think younger people tend to be less threatened by data collection because it’s what they’ve known,” said Tim Smith, director of communications and media planning at IPNY. “They’ve grown up with data breaches and they’ve almost always been connected and online.” Smith also said that older internet users often have more to lose financially than younger users, making them more wary of data breaches.

Businesses should build trust with users of all ages by allowing them to access the personal data that is collected and remove it if they desire.