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Internet users do not want bigger ads finds survey

LONDON - Internet users do not want bigger ads, according to new research that flies in the face of current industry thinking about the size and shape of online advertising.

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Freeserve, the UK internet service provider, has polled users about their opinions on online advertising and found that people want more control and less interruption when using the net.

The industry, led by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, is examining the issue of standardised ad formats online, partly in the belief that bigger ad sites would allow greater creativity.

Freeserve is now warning against the unilateral adoption of heavier, larger ad formats. Its study showed that pop-ups were seen by most users as the least impactful and acceptable formats; while skyscrapers and DHTML were the most impactful and acceptable.

It also found that heavy internet users are more likely to respond well to formats such as expandable banners and overlays.

Faye Weeks, head of strategic sales at Freeserve, said: "There's much debate going on in the industry about adopting US-style ad formats, but nobody has stopped to ask users what they think and that's why we carried out this study.

"We are continuing to strike a careful balance between user experience and new developments in advertising, and just because an increasing number of our users have broadband, it doesn't mean we can bombard them with larger file sizes."

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