Survey Says Banners Just Ain’t Worth a Click


survey_smallADOTAS – In a new survey jointly commissioned by 24/7 Real Media and AdKeeper, 58% of respondents said they don’t click on banner ads because they aren’t relevant. About half said that banners aren’t engaging or interesting.

Say you tossed some behavioral targeting in the mix — that might change opinions about relevancy. Show them a deal on a product they were just looking at and I’ll bet they’ll get engaged real quick-like.

Hold on — apparently 31% don’t want to click because they’re afraid their Internet activity will be tracked. That could be a problem… They want to see more relevant ads, but they’re scared of being tracked. Huh.

But this is a fearful bunch as the other major issue with banner ads is their tarnished legacy — that is, their history of being associated with scams. Of the 57% of respondents that don’t click on banners because they’re scared about what might happen:

54% just don’t trust most banners;
57% are afraid of receiving spam;
55% are worried about getting viruses; and
46% fear that pop-ups will take over their screens.

Conducted by Nielsen, the survey consisted of 600 respondents aged 18 to 54 who claimed to hardly ever or never click on banners. Considering their responses, I think the best conclusion to be drawn from this survey is that even if targeting technology offers more relevant and engaging ads, browsers who are scared or unwilling to click on banners are not going to change their behavior.

It would be interesting to see responses from people who “sometimes or often” click on banners.

AdKeeper, which offers technology that allows consumers to “save” banner ads and view them later on a secure site, highlights that 61% of the survey participants said “Online banner ads take me away from my current website, or from what I am doing.” If only there was a way to store the most interesting ads, maybe keep them safe so they could look at them later…


  1. I also noticed that the survey didn’t seem to take into account how consumers’ view of banner ads would change if targeting and relevancy improved. Not just that, but the general appearance of the ads, regardless of what’s being offered…a lot of banner ads look like crap and therefore come across as spammy or untrustworthy just because of their shoddy design. I wrote a whole blog post with my thoughts on how the survey could have been improved and what it seems to ignore:


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