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They hate big pop-ups and they cannot lie. That’s one of the top reasons consumers gave when asked why they decide to use ad blocking software.

While smaller and less conspicuous ads mostly get a pass, the screen-hogging, attention-diverting pop-up is anathema to about 30 percent of ad-blocking customers recently surveyed by MarketingSherpa.

In fact, distaste for the pernicious pop-up was the top response given, followed by other reasons such as “Rollover ads are intrusive” (23 percent) and “Audio AutoPlay of online ads is intrusive” (19 percent).

The insights were gleaned from research date on 2,400 consumers. A key takeaway is that many ads are getting in the way of the customer’s chosen digital experience and is the main reason customers block online ads.

“This is actually good news. It means that most customers aren’t alienated by all digital advertising,” noted Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content at MarketingSherpa. “They simply (and sensibly) do not want anything to interrupt their desired experience.”

Those consumers are basically drawing a line between acceptable ads and a species that “takes over.”

“Some online ads remind me of an invasive species,” Burstein concludes. “They are non-native, spread prolifically (across a webpage), and they cause harm (to the customer’s experience). But this data indicates that if advertisers and publishers focus on complementary digital advertising – for example, ads that frame an article – instead of invasive advertising, customers are less likely to block digital ads.”

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