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Millennials Have Greatest Trust In Ads, Yet Are Among Heaviest Users Of Ad Blockers
Younger users more likely to block ads than most other groups.
According to Nielsen’s “Global Trust in Advertising” report, Millennials (21–34) showed “the highest levels of trust in online and mobile formats.” Below is a comparison of ad types (digital and traditional media) and generational trust levels that reflect this finding.
Source: Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey, Q1 2015
What’s very interesting about this data is that it seems to be contradicted by ad blocking surveys that have been done by multiple parties. For example, a study from Sourcepoint and comScore found that usage of ad blocking is more common among the young (Millennials in particular) and among those with higher incomes.
Source: Sourcepoint and comScore, “The State of Ad blocking” (2015)
Other studies have echoed this data reflecting that ad blocking is more common among younger users, with anywhere between 30 and 60 percent of Millennials using some type of ad blocking software today.
It’s not clear how to reconcile the Nielsen “trust” findings with the ad-blocking studies. One might argue that the framing of survey questions can profoundly impact results. Yet it remains strange and somewhat paradoxical that Millennials seem to be more trusting and receptive to advertising and yet are one of the groups that are most inclined to block or avoid it.