IAB & Project Agora study: Ad-blocking in Romania – numbers, data and reasons online ads are avoided

Advertising, Digital & Media, Studies

IAB Romania and Project Agora, with support from Quantix Marketing, made an extensive study following the attitude of Romanian internet users regarding the usage of ad-blocking programs, the reasons to install such programs and their future intents towards them, but also the attitude towards specific elements of online ads.

The study was made between October 2015 – January 2016, on 80 websites with the highest traffic in Romania (according to SATI data), which are coordinated in terms of content and/or advertising by 7 of the main publishers and online media sales houses in Romania, which are members of IAB Romania.

The initiative aimed to define not only the real level of adblock programs’ usage on the websites who use IAB standards, but also to identify the main reasons to use adblocking, in order to work with the entire industry for improving the standards of online advertising in Romania.

It is the first study that shows not just the scope, but also the reasons behind ad-blocking. The good news is the public is appreciating non-invasive formats and coherent executed advertising, the bad news is all players within the industry, clients, publishers, networks, tech operators, media agencies, need to react quick to the worrying and ferm signals consumers are sending

Adrian Motirlichie,

Business Development Director Project Agora / Tailwind EMEA & project’s coordinator

The study has 2 components, a tech measurement of the number of browsers with adblocking programs installed (using PageFair tags) and a poll with the internet users, made by online data collection, based on a structured questionnaire made together with Quantix Marketing. Scopul principal este explorarea motivelor pentru care utilizatorii apelează la adblockere.

IAB is happy to see its members who respect organization’s standards and recommendation have reduced percentages of users with ad-blockers, with those percentages being, in many cases, under 10%, but the general average is, obviously, a signal that industry’s responsibility is needed, especially that the unregulated area – for example, websites offering pirated movies – is affecting players who act on good faith. There’s important data in the study we are publishing today, data which will help the industry to correct certain excesses, sanctioned by users. If we are looking attentively to the results of the study, we are seeing that not the online advertising as a whole is the one that bothers, but those formats that don’t respect users’ opinions and who are too aggressive or too intrusive

Ionut Oprea,

President IAB Romania

According to the study, the percentage of browsers using adblock programs for online advertising is 13.9% and the people who use those programs are convinced they will stick with it. On the other hand, among those that heard of ad blocking programs, 18% intend to activate one soon. The intention of future usage when it comes of ad block programs is very high, with 96% of those who have such a program installed saying that they will continue to use it.

The second most important reason to install ad-blockers is represented by seeing online movies, although the websites of this kind who function legally aren’t serving advertising.

The degree of tolerance for any intrusive commercial is extremely low, but the most tolerated formats are in-stream video (16% are ok with them), retargeting (12.6% aren’t bothered) and interstitial (12.1% accept this).

The rest of intrusive formats (expandable, auto-play, floating) are firmly rejected by over 90% of study’s respondents who are using or not ad-blockers.

Romanians who use programs to block ads admit there are clear benefits associated to internet commercials, such are information on themes of interest for a subject or regarding different promotions.

Answering the study were 1.300 respondents, representative for the online population present on Romanian internet.