Less Than 10% Of Advertisers Use Pop-Ups

By: Jonathan Angel

(Adweek Magazines’ Technology Marketing) Pop-up advertising — any ad that spawns a new browser window without user input — seems nearly ubiquitous. But, according to data released by Nielsen/NetRatings, fewer than 10% of advertisers actually use them.

During the first seven months of 2002, the firm says, more than 11.3 billion pop-up ad impressions were purchased — but that’s just 2% of the online advertising market. Niche categories such as community, yellow pages, and games sites posted levels of pop-up advertising well above this average of 2%. However, portals, search engines, and shopping sites shied away from utilizing the technology.

According to Nielsen/NetRatings, just 63 companies launched 80% of all pop-up advertising. In first place — surprise, surprise — was X10, more than one billion pop-ups launched in 2002.

Orbitz came in at No. 2 with 687 million pop-up ad impressions, while Providian Financial employed 679 million impressions during January through July 2002. Cendant purchased and launched 561 million pop-up ad impressions, and Cassava Enterprises posted 548 million impressions, rounding out the top five.

Meantime — dude! — Dell is one PC company that likes pop-ups, too. It launched 484 million impressions, bringing it in at No. 6 in the hall of, er, fame.

“Despite consumers’ general distaste for the ads, a few advertisers clearly view the benefits of pop-up advertising as greater than the potential harm to brand image,” said a Nielsen/NetRatings spokesperson. “We anticipate that the continuing negativity surrounding pop-ups will lead to new ad designs that are less intrusive and more responsive to consumer expectations.”

Not surprisingly, the survey concludes, pop-ups were favored by direct marketers. However, they were seldom used for brand-building.

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