Almost half of digital consumers to adopt adblockers | KPMG | UK
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Almost half of digital consumers set to adopt adblockers, research finds

Almost half of digital consumers to adopt adblockers

Personalisation drives ad clicks in 2016 but adblocker and data sharing threats loom, says new KPMG report


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• 49 per cent of consumers expect to use adblockers in the next 6 months

• 80 per cent are not willing to openly share personal data with advertisers

• Consumers are unaware of the data that advertisers collect. Only a minority know advertisers can access their email address (37 per cent), name (23 per cent) and age (22 per cent)

Tailored online ads are under threat from the rise of adblockers and an unwillingness of consumers to share personal data, according to a new report.

KPMG’s latest Media Tracker, which surveyed 2,000 UK households, reveals almost half (49 per cent) of digital consumers are considering using adblocking technology in the next six months, up from 44 per cent at the date of the last survey in April.

The report also reveals a reluctance to share personal data, with 80 per cent of consumers saying they would be unwilling to share anonymised information for advertisers to create more relevant, timely ads.

KPMG says the findings suggest advertisers face future challenges as personalisation drives consumer clicks. Over half (55 per cent) of survey respondents said relevance was their main consideration before engaging, second only to price (61 per cent).

According to the research, 35 per cent of 18-24 year olds are more likely to click on a personalised ad in their social media feed than elsewhere on the internet. Overall, the research found under one in five (16 per cent) would be more inclined to click an advert that appeared on a social platform, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

The research also found that digital consumers are in the dark on how much personal data is being collected by advertisers. Only a minority are aware that businesses can access their email address (37 per cent), name (23 per cent) and age (22 per cent) when they click online ads.

According to the report, 56 per cent said they were unaware advertisers could track their location, with just 38 per cent expecting businesses to know what device they use.

David Elms, UK Head of Media, KPMG, said: “The ad tech boom has enabled unprecedented access to consumer data over the past few years, giving rise to a far more personalised online advertising experience. But with an overwhelming majority of consumers unwilling to share their data, advertisers may face a potential problem as the UK public becomes increasingly aware of how much information advertisers have access to.

“It’s clear there is a fine line between effective personalised ads and those that consumers consider to be intrusive, highlighting the importance of highly targeted, tailored strategies. Social media is where the most effective future opportunities may lie. Together with the access to numerous personal data points, the research shows millennials in particular are far more likely to click on adverts that appear in their social feeds.”

Brexit sends a chill through the media industry

The findings were published alongside KPMG’s bi-annual industry tracker, which found that concerns regarding the UK’s economic outlook and the long-term implications of Brexit have resulted in businesses adopting a wait-and-see approach.

The overall headline Index, which tracks activity in the UK media sector, suggests the industry is heading for its slowest rate of growth since 2012.

The research also found that businesses cut back on their advertising campaigns in the third quarter despite spending strongly in the first half of the year. Adspend between July and September represented the weakest quarterly performance for four years, according to the findings.

David Elms commented: “Supportive economic conditions in the first half of the year, combined with an investment boost in digital content and low inflation, helped drive sustained expansion. However, Brexit and concerns about the UK’s economic outlook have created a more uncertain outlook.

“Media is one of the UK’s most important industries in terms of economic contribution. There are undoubtedly significant medium term opportunities for the sector through Brexit, notably through negotiating new trade deals. But it is important that some of the potentially disruptive impacts of Brexit to the unique ecology of the industry, such as its ability to source the best skills and talent, are addressed.”

The report entitled ‘Media Tracker: Testing times ahead’ is available here


Notes for editors

The headline UK media sector tracker index is calculated by taking the combined momentum of two key areas; core business activity at media sector companies and, secondly, adspend budget changes among UK marketing executives. Data are drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals and provides a key indicator of the health of the economy. The survey panel has been carefully selected to represent all key business sectors, drawn primarily from the nation’s top 1000 companies.

Media contacts


Peter Lappin, Citypress (on behalf of KPMG)


T: 0161 235 0328

David Bertram, Citypress (on behalf of KPMG)


T: 0161 235 0316

KPMG press office: +44 (0)207 694 8773

About KPMG

KPMG in the United Kingdom, is member of a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG operates in 155 countries and has more than 162,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.




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