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How do you feel about adverts on websites?

From September - November 2006 we asked you, 'How do you feel about adverts on websites?' 1042 of you responded with the following results:

  • I enjoy looking at them   72 votes (7%)
  • They're OK if not too intrusive   254 votes (24%)
  • They're OK if related to the site I'm on   249 votes (24%)
  • I find them annoying   467 votes (45%)

Why you voted this way

A big thank you to all of you that took the time to tell us why you voted how you did. Some of our favourite comments from you, divided up by how you voted, are:

They're OK if not too intrusive

Many fantastic websites wouldn't exist without the support of advertisers and non-intrusive advertising is a small price to pay for the free use of a wealth of services

Emma, Canterbury, UK

Adverts are OK if not too intrusive to me because they generate revenue that often defers the cost of providing services or information on the website. A necessary evil, if you will...

Jennifer, New York, USA

We all know to view free content it has to be paid for my adverts but when you go on some news sites and you have flashing banners on all sides all you want to do is leave. If they use 'quiet ads' that don't bother you but still provide the site with revenue there's no problem (e.g. Google Adwords).

Pierce, London, UK

Adverts help to pay for websites, making them free to view, so a degree of tolerance is needed. Those sites that have adverts over the main text, particularly with difficult to see close buttons get the quick back button and no return though.

Pete, Lancashire, UK

How many times have you been in a group where there was one blow-hard who knew everything, spoke over everyone else and thought he was popular... Even stepping in front of you no matter which way you turn to be sure you hear whatever he has to say? Well, that's the annoying Internet ad.

Kathleen, Washington, USA

They're OK if related to the site I'm on

Web ads that provide services/information/products that are relevant to the website I'm currently viewing can be helpful, rather than generic poker/dating adverts.

Johnny, Ireland

I don't mind ads as long as they're targeted and unobtrusive. Websites have got to make a living and I'd rather have a few discreet ads than have to pay for my favourite websites!

Leigh, London, UK

I'm always looking to learn something new and if an advert can lead me to more information and knowledge I'm more the happier. I can also spot adverts that are more about a product and themselves with no other benefit than to sell.

Elizabeth Hutchinson, London. UK

If I'm looking at a website about "Widgets" then adverts about "Widgets" can be very useful as I might be thinking about buying some.

Ralph, Milton Keynes, UK

If adverts are related to the site I'm looking at they may well extend the available information. I'm generally at a site because I'm interested in the content on the site.

Alicia C Simpson, Michigan, USA

I find them annoying

All of these ads assume that I have to be taught (usually in a very obtrusive way) about their products to get interested in them. Wrong! I'll look for product info in specific places: product reviews, news topics, forums etc. I'm not interested in them when reading a blog or my e-mail.

Jeroen Brattinga, Lelystad, The Netherlands

Web ads are visual noise just like radio and TV ads are noise! A good website is low noise, that is, it conveys necessary information without a lot of distractions.

Rick, San Francisco, USA

I find the ads, especially pop ups that require an action by the viewer extremely annoying and a waste of my time. That is one of the main reasons I dropped my AOL service.

Mary C, Pittsburgh, USA

I often click away from a site if there is an animated advertisement. It's too hard to read the text that I came for when there are flashing colours and/or sounds screaming for my attention.

Jason M, Chicago, USA

They're just distracting, and therefore annoying. I go to a web page to read its content, not look at the ads. They're just shooting themselves in the foot - associating their product with a deep sense of irritation.

Jon, Liverpool, UK

When I'm browsing a website, I want the contents of the website. No, I'm not interested in deals on something I'm never going to buy. No, I'm not interested in a subscription to Worthless Magazine. All that ads bring to me is lag for my already aging computer.

Ray, Phoenix, USA

Many of the advertisements either don't relate to the site you're on or are obnoxious in nature, flashing, interactive, etc. If I want info on other sites or business, I would perform a search with a major search engine rather than rely on ads.

Lisa Grimes, Columbia, USA

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