Study: Pop-Ups Find Acceptance

While many online properties have moved to ban pop-ups altogether due to a perceived public backlash, a new Dynamic Logic study shows that two-thirds of consumers are willing to tolerate two intrusive ads per hour in exchange for free content.

The findings, revealed last week, are good news for marketers that rely on over-the-content advertising to get noticed and Web publishers who see it as another ad-revenue stream.

Still, Dynamic Logic president Nick Nyhan warned that Web sites should limit the frequency of such ads, pointing out that 70 percent of the survey’s 425 respondents said they believe there are too many intrusive ads on the Web.

NYT Digital, whose year-over-year revenue rose 37 percent in February partly due to increased display advertising, has a frequency cap of two intrusive ads per session. “We strike the proper balance between editorial and advertising,” said Jason Krebs, vp of sales and marketing at NYTimes.com, which is running pop-up and pop-under ads for American Express and the South Beach Diet, among others.

Timing also is of the essence. “Radio has very assertive advertising, but it doesn’t appear in the middle of a song; that is where the Internet needs to get to,” said Nyhan, adding that the study found consumers’ acceptance of interstitials is higher than other intrusive methods.

“We’ve always had the philosophy of intrusive but not annoying,” said Greg Smith, evp, director of media practices at Aegis Group’s Carat Interactive in New York. “At the end of the day, if it isn’t good advertising, it doesn’t matter where it is.”