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Michaela Jefferson 

Kantar report reaffirms the risks of overtargeting ads

Kantar report reaffirms the risks of overtargeting ads

A new report from Kantar backs recent warnings that ad saturation and micro-targeting is putting the advertising industry 'at risk', as more than half of UK consumers report feeling apathetic towards advertising.

According to the consultancy's Dimension study, which is based on findings from 5,000 'connected' consumers in five markets, only 11% of UK consumers claimed to actually enjoy advertising. Meanwhile, 56% of UK consumers object to being over-targeted, with three quarters stating that they had seen the same ads 'over and over'.

“If brands and advertisers are going to rebuild – and retain – the trust of their audiences, we need to see more responsible use of data across the industry," said Mark Inskip, CEO Kantar UK & Ireland, media division.

"By adopting an integrated approach, balancing niche targeting capabilities with mass marketing tactics, brands can provide consumers with a helpful, additive experience."

Elsewhere, the report showed that the use of ad-blocking technology has remained steady at 22%. However, Kantar warns that consumers are instead circumventing advertising by increasingly subscribing to paid-for, ad-free services.

According to the report, 44% of UK consumers currently pay for a TV or video subscription service, while 17% are subscribed to audio or music services. While over half of those consumers claim that they are mainly motivated by the content those services offer, 36% said their main motivation is advertising avoidance - up from 31% last year.

“At a time when consumers are becoming ever savvier towards advertising, the focus for the industry needs to be on creating content that really resonates with audiences and makes an impact," Inskip added.

"Ultimately the [brands] who come out on top will be those who are able to create compelling content that’s shared in an appropriate context and accurately measured, to optimise performance.”

The report's findings follow warnings from the Ad Association and industry think tank Credos earlier this year that consumer sentiment towards advertising had hit an all time low.

In a paper published during the Ad Association's annual LEAD conference, it was revealed that public favourability towards advertising hit a low of 25% in December last year.

The paper states that while people appreciate its benefits, there are a range issues negatively impacting their perceptions of ads, including "bombardment" and "intrusiveness", as well as concerns around vulnerable people, such as the financially insecure, those with addictions, children, and the elderly.

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