Online study looks at how Irish users react to advertising

17 Apr 2012

Irish internet users are apparently more than three times as likely to trust Irish content sites compared to social networks and almost twice as likely to trust them over portal sites. That’s according to a new survey from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Ireland.

The industry body, which represents Irish digital publishing companies such as,,, and, carried out the study to delve into Irish internet users’ attitudes to online content and their level of engagement across Irish content sites.

The study looked at people’s engagement with Irish newspapers, TV, radio and magazine sites, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and portals such as MSN, and Yahoo!

Here’s a few key findings:

  • 61pc of Irish internet users believe Irish content sites are trustworthy (18pc for social networks/35pc for portals).
  • 57pc of Irish internet users surveyed believe Irish content sites are an essential source of information (28pc for social networks/37pc for portals).
  • 53pc of the survey respondents said they talk to people about the information they have seen on Irish content sites (46pc for social networks/35pc for portals).
  • 41pc of the research participants indicated that information on Irish content sites is not available elsewhere (36pc for social networks/32pc for portals).
  • 49pc of participants thought Irish content sites are opinion leaders (27pc for social networks/27pc for portals).

AOP Ireland said respondents who trusted the sites they used were more likely to trust the brands advertising on these sites, meaning they more likely to respond to the advertising on these sites.  

Advertising results from the survey include:

  • 81pc of Irish internet users agree that advertising is well matched to the content on Irish content sites (63pc for social networks/69pc for portals).
  • 30pc of research participants said they have searched for a brand prompted by advertising on Irish content sites (23pc for social networks/26pc for portals). 
  • 25pc of the survey respondents have bought a brand prompted by advertising on Irish content and news sites (14pc for social networks/20pc for portals).  
  • 22pc of Irish internet users report they have purchased a product/service after seeing content about it on Irish content and news sites (15pc for social networks/15pc for portals).

Online advertising spend morphs

Julian Douglas, chairman of AOP Ireland, said recent figures from IAB Ireland show that spend on online advertising grew by 20.5pc.

He said that trying to understand the relationship between consumers and online advertising is complicated, as although people may visit certain sites frequently and spend considerable time on them, they might not actually notice the advertising.

“The research findings suggest that the more an audience trusts a particular type of site and the relevance of that site’s content will influence the effectiveness of the advertising displayed. In other words, the environment and context drives advertising engagement, with the study illustrating that responsiveness is strongest on Irish content sites compared to social media and portals,” said Douglas.

Amárach Research carried out the research for AOP. It conducted quantitative online research with a representative sample of Irish adults online consisting of 500 people and 1,000 users of AOP member sites. The research was carried out between 17 and 31 January 2012.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic