Brands are wasting budget on ‘annoying’ ads that do more harm than good, new YouGov survey finds

YouGov/Picnic UX survey shows 70% of people find digital adverts annoying - and that bad user experience is doing real damage to brands

Published On
Dec 15, 2023
YouGov Survey


More than two-thirds of people (70%) find digital advertising annoying and unpleasant, while 72% say that bad advertising experiences have negatively affected their perception of a brand, according to new research that lays bare the real damage caused by excessive and intrusive ads.

The survey, from user-first media platform Picnic, in partnership with global public opinion company YouGov, shines a light on attitudes towards user experience of advertising on the ad-funded web - and reveals that poor advertising experiences not only achieve diminishing returns, but actively turn consumers off infringing brands.

71% of people agree that annoying or intrusive ad experiences make them less likely to purchase from that brand in future, while 86% say that too many ads on a webpage make them feel overwhelmed and more likely to ignore the advertising altogether. Survey respondents identified ‘too many ads’ as the number one most annoying UX issue, followed by blocked screen content, accidental clicks, slow load speeds, and unstable page content, in that order.

For users who chose to comment on ad experience issues, there was a resoundingly negative attitude towards digital ads in their current form, with all answers expressing negative sentiment. Comments included ‘all advertising is annoying’ and ‘[ads are] annoying full stop’. Some users also confirmed they use ad blockers to avoid UX issues. 

Despite these negative attitudes, respondents are still fundamentally in favour of an ad-funded web. The majority of respondents (56%) agree that they enjoy reading free content from reputable publishers, and over a third of people (39%) say they like discovering new products and brands on the open web. Importantly, 71% of participants also said they’d be more likely to feel positively towards ads if they were fast-loading, and didn’t force clicks or block content.  


Dec 15, 2023
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The Digital Voice

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