Baby Boomers Far More Likely to Click Online Ads than Younger Generations - But Irrelevant Ads Frustrate Everyone

Crowd Science Study Also Finds College Grads and 25-54 Year Olds Most Likely to Take Actions Based on Ad Exposure, Such As Research and Shopping For Products

Sep 21, 2011, 09:30 ET from Crowd Science

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Adults aged 55 and older click on online ads more when compared to other age groups, according to the latest JustAsk! survey from audience research and measurement company Crowd Science (

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The study found 76% of respondents age 55+ had clicked on online ads during the preceding six months, compared to just 58% of 15-24 year-olds. However, both young and old Internet users bridged the generation gap in their shared irritation with "being shown ads that don't apply to [them]" - a sentiment shared by 49% of 15-24 year olds, and 46% of those 55 and over.

Adults between the ages of 25-44 and 45-54 were less frustrated, with just 39% and 35% respectively expressing annoyance with irrelevant advertising.

Although older and younger generations differed in their click behavior toward online ads, there was some agreement about how to improve tolerance of online ads: 27% of all respondents stated they would be more accepting of relevant ads.

The survey also found:

  • Just 6% of respondents would be willing to pay to use their favorite websites in exchange for eliminating ads.
  • Two in three have clicked or acted on an ad in the past six months.
  • College graduates (71%) are more likely than those with a high school education or less (59%) to have clicked on an ad in the past six months.  
  • Targeted ads appear to be more effective for males, with more males (30%) accepting of relevant ads as compared with females (22%).
  • Conversely, among those who don't click on ads, males are more than twice as likely (22%) than females (10%) to indicate it's because they don't want to navigate away from the page.
  • For respondents who don't click on ads, 21% say the main reason is because they fear getting a computer virus, and another 17% don't trust ads to be truthful.    
  • 39% of those who clicked on an ad did so because the ad made them consider the item, another 39% because they were already considering the item, while 14% found the ad amusing.
  • Regardless of ad relevance, 24% arbitrarily ignore online ads.

Be the first to hear the full results of this JustAsk! study on online advertising attitudes during Crowd Science's free webinar on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 10am PDT/1pm EDT, hosted by Crowd Science VP of Research Sandra Marshall. Register today at:

Findings in this study were gathered from a random sample of 989 respondents between July 8th and August 3rd, 2011.

About Crowd Science Crowd Science is innovating audience targeting and segmentation with a powerful and holistic combination of demographic & psychographic insights and best-in-class technology to improve display advertising precision and increase revenue. The world's largest online publishers use Crowd Science including Federated Media, PC World, NHL, Meredith and Everyday Health.

JustAsk! is an opinion research initiative by Crowd Science delivering timely, topical insights about consumer attitudes and opinions. JustAsk! is ongoing, conducted via survey technology and uses random sampling of visitors across a network of over 5,500 websites.

CONTACT: Les Luchter, 1-646-591-5722

SOURCE Crowd Science