The effect of bad adverts online

Duncan Stephen
Wednesday 3 June 2015

Online ads: log in, tune out, turn off

Economists have been researching how successful online banner advertising is. It’s bad news for commercial website owners.

The study paid subjects to complete tasks online, with adverts being displayed between each task. The researchers analysed the drop-out rate of the experiment to come up with an effective cost of displaying adverts.

It was found that annoying adverts effectively come at a cost of $1.15 per 1,000 views. An advertiser may pay only 25 cents per 1,000 views.

The good news is the study found that it is possible to reduce this effect by making the adverts less annoying. Unsurprisingly, animated adverts were found to be the worst examples of online advertising.

However, a ‘good’ advert initiates a drop-out rate that effectively costs 38 cents per 1,000 views to the website owner, for an advert that may pay $2 per 1,000 views.