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Pop-up ‘suicide’ can kill your brand

Marketing-speak for 'ditch the critters'

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Employing pop-up ads to target punters is like playing Russian roulette with your brand, according to Web behaviour consultancy Bunnyfoot Universality.

They reckon companies that use - or host - pop-up advertising are a big turn-off, risking "suicide" for their brand. Bunnyfoot's research found that pop-ups were the "single biggest turn-off among users" with users deleting the ads on average just 2.5 seconds after they appear.

Using special technology that tracked the eye movement of people looking at a computer screen, Bunnyfoot found that pop-ups were only seen in two per cent of cases.

Half of those tested closed the ads before they even loaded while a third didn't even look at the advertisements.

Six out of ten of those quizzed said they mistrusted brands that used pop-ups to advertise their products and services.

Said Rob Stevens, director of business behaviour at Bunnyfoot: "Brands are undoubtedly committing commercial suicide by insisting on using pop-ups. The effect of such techniques goes way beyond simply annoying the user: they frustrate, they impose and they engender mistrust. Pop-ups are therefore not just a huge waste of money, they are also extremely negative for a brand."

The report, The Efficacy of Pop-Ups and the resulting effect on brands, can be found here (PDF).

This month MSN said it would no longer sell pop-up and pop-under ads after its own research found that pop-ups are a "key contributor to user dissatisfaction".

Amsterdam-based WebAds Interactive Advertising last week also said it will no longer sell pop-up ads for its European clients, claiming that nine in ten of Net users dislike these intrusive ads. ®

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