A top advertiser has warned that internet surfers will have to get used to being messed around by intrusive web adverts.
Nick Nyhan, chief executive of the New York-based ad agency Dynamic Logic, said it was a misapprehension that people hated pop-up ads more than they did any other form of advertising.
"I think people are getting used to the fact that interruptive or distracting advertising is going to be a part of the internet, just like any other media," he said.
Nyhan said that television ads were extremely disruptive and distracting also, but you could not close them down.
Dynamic Logic has just released a survey of more than 400 web surfers which indicates that users absolutely hate pop-up ads even more than television adds or junk mail.
The only thing that people hated more was being called up by telemarketers.
Only six per cent could say anything nice about a pop-up ad, although only three per cent liked full-page ads.
Banner ads were finding more favour with customers. More than half thought they were a good idea, while skyscrapers ads were liked by 34 per cent and large rectangle ads by 17 per cent.
More than 85 per cent accepted that advertising was necessary on free websites, even if it might prove distracting, and another 72 per cent felt they could live with one pop-up advertisement an hour.
Nyhan believed the survey figures showed that people were living with online advertising in the same way that they were coping with ads in othermedia.
"The results surprised me, really," he said. "They may not like things like pop-up advertising, but it is finding a place in people's acceptance levels and people say they are prepared to live with a certain number within reason."
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