Kids Encounter Ads Less Than Adults

Kids and teens encounter far less advertising than do adults as they surf the Web, according to a new report issued by Nielsen Online.

The data appears to buck conventional wisdom that the younger, social networking and instant messaging-loving generation is constantly bombarded by banner ads.

Nielsen’s analysis found that kids 2-11 endure the lowest level of ad clutter on the Internet, while the 12-17 group experiences the second lowest level, based on the company’s new “clutter expose” metric for online advertising. Meanwhile, the 65-and-older Web surfing crowd sees more ads than any group, reported Nielsen, which found that higher ad clutter correlates with consumers’ ages.

The researcher said its new clutter exposure measure pieces together data from a variety of sources, including it’s own Web site audience reports as well as ad campaign data, page views, impressions, time spent and even ad pixel numbers. The hope is to give advertisers information on where on the Web they can place ads without getting drowned out.

“Used in conjunction with other metrics, such as unique audience, the clutter measure provides a relative benchmark to help media buyers understand the Web sites that provide the optimal level of impressions within an acceptable amount of clutter,” said Jon Gibs, vp-media analytics at Nielsen Online.

According to the report, kids clutter scores are lower in part because many Web sites aimed at children (such as Webkinz) carry little or no advertising. Meanwhile, teens who congregate on sites like MySpace and Facebook also encounter low levels of clutter, perhaps because these sites often have trouble monetizing individual profile pages.

Brandweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.