IDC Study Finds Consumers Will Tolerate Advertising in New Media if They Can Call the Shots

FRAMINGHAM, MA – FEBRUARY 12, 2001 – According to a recent IDC study, consumers aren't as burned out with advertising as conventional wisdom would lead us to believe. Although some forms of commercial advertising in emerging media – such as the dreaded Web pop-up – are despised, consumers will readily accept many emerging forms of advertising when they can call the shots.


"Deep resistance to certain types of advertising delivery will force advertisers to assess expectations about and demands of commercial messages inserted in new media," said Tom Kiersted, research manager for IDC's Telecommunications Business Brands program. "The fact is consumers are pretty willing to entertain some of the latest new media advertising models, but the more they can control the way advertisers reach them, when they reach them, how often they reach them, where they reach them, and in what context they reach them, the better they like it."

According to IDC's study, banner ads are the most tolerated form of advertising in emerging media, while the most pronounced hesitation centers around receiving any kind of advertising on their wireless telephones or those phones’ Web interfaces. Most participants said they thought Web advertising was generally "a good thing" from which you can get "valuable information." Surprisingly, the majority said they wouldn't use ad-blocking software even if it were offered to them for free.

IDC believes the advertising industry faces the stiffest challenges in the mobile devices space – particularly with telephone-based handsets. Most participants opposed advertising on wireless phones as overly invasive. There was some evidence that users might find it less intolerable if they could control when and how much they received (verging on a pull model), if it were very well targeted, or if it lowered their monthly bills, was more interactive, linked them to a product or service, or provided instant access to a meaningful transaction with the advertiser. The study found participants are less resistant to advertising on their PDAs, although they still want to control where and how the ads are displayed.

IDC interviewed six groups (three college-aged and three adult) of Internet-savvy, communications-intense consumers. Results are published in IDC's new report Advertising Tolerance in Emerging Media: Consumers Want to Call the Shots (IDC #B23627). This report examines consumer tolerance of advertising in emerging media including wireless phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), email, Web pages (and wireless Web pages), voice chat sessions, voice portals, and long distance telephone services.

To purchase this report, contact Bruce Atlas at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4053, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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