Most UK smartphone users ignore mobile ads – survey

27 Jul 2011

Smartphone users in the UK tend to ignore ads they see on their phones and consider them intrusive, a new survey suggests.

The survey of 2,082 smartphone owners from YouGov’s quarterly Smartphone, Mobile Internet, eXperience tracker revealed 79pc of smartphone users believe mobile ads are intrusive, compared with 5pc of respondents who think they are a good idea and welcome them.

Eighty-eight per cent of respondents ignore ads in applications and 86pc ignore them on the mobile web.

Few smartphone users actively responded to mobile ads, as well, YouGov said. Six per cent of respondents click on a link in a text, and another 6pc click on a link from an email. Four per cent click on a link from the mobile internet, 3pc from an app, and 2pc from an instant message.

Few survey respondents have bought a product or service as a result of mobile advertising – only 3pc did so as a result of a trusted text and 1pc from advertising on an app.

However, some 27pc of respondents agree they would welcome more advertising if it offered money-off deals or special offers. Some 21pc agree they don’t mind ads as long as they are relevant to them.

Adele Gritten, head of media consulting at YouGov, said the survey results highlight the fact mobile advertising is still an infant channel.

“The findings indicate that marketers and media planners have not got to grips with what mobile advertising can do, and how it might be used as tactical marketing ploy, or as a wider part of the media mix. Those questions have not yet been fully addressed,” she said.

“Marketers need to harness the higher level of personal engagement that mobile users have with their handsets to provide them with something truly unique, relevant and interesting. In particular, money off deals and special offers will appeal to consumers. Ad treatments must be more relevant and personal, and advertisers have to stop hoping that spam volume alone will drive response rates.”