Old age consumers feel greater risk than benefits in online ads: Study

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A study finds that most of the old age online users have installed ad blockers as their perception is, internet advertisements have more risk than the benefits.

Chang-Dae Ham, from University of Illinois, said that the perception of risk is stronger than the perception of benefit, which drive them to have more privacy concerns and finally to avoid the advertising.

The team surveyed 442 college students on how they coped with what is known as online behavioural advertising.

Ham said that this is the first study to investigate the interaction of various psychological factors - or mediating variables - behind how people respond to it and why they might avoid ads.

He explained that there were not only interactions related to risk, benefit and privacy, but also self-efficacy (sense of control); reactance (reaction against perceived restrictions on freedom); and the perceived personalisation of the ads.

Giving consumers control is important because it might keep them open to some personalised online advertising, rather than installing tools like ad blockers, in use by almost 30 percent of online users in the U.S.

He also looked at the effect of greater and lesser knowledge among participants about how online behavioural advertising works.

Those with greater perceived knowledge were likely to see greater benefits, but also greater risk, he found.

Similar to those with little perceived understanding, they tilted strongly toward privacy concerns and avoiding ads.

The study conclusions could have added significance, Ham said, because research has shown that college-age individuals, like those in his study pool, are generally less concerned about privacy than those in older age groups.

If his findings are an accurate reflection of consumer attitudes, Ham said they could represent "a really huge challenge to the advertising industry" since online behavioural advertising represents a growing segment of advertising revenue.

The study appeared in the International Journal of Advertising.(ANI)
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