Social Media Advertising: Factors Influencing Consumer Ad Avoidance

Carlos Ferreira, Nina Michaelidou, Caroline Moraes, Michelle McGrath

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    Social media has become a key field for expansion of advertising. However, despite the enthusiasm of both advertisers and technology providers, intense advertising on social media may result in companies’ messages being lost amongst the ‘noise’. This has led advertisers to create more daring adverts in order to stand out. However, such ‘controversial’ adverts may, subsequently, turn consumers off, leading consumers to avoid ads. This study examines potential factors influencing consumers’ decisions to avoid controversial ads on social media. Using data on social media usage from 273 consumers, a conceptual model of social media ad avoidance antecedents was tested via structural equation modelling. The results show that perceptions of adverts as controversial result in ad avoidance, but this effect is moderated by individual factors, such as ethical judgement. These results reveal noteworthy insights that have significant theoretical and practical implications for researchers in the area, and social media marketers alike.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-201
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Customer Behaviour
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ferreira, C, Moraes, C, Michaelidou, N & McGrath, M 2017, 'Social Media Advertising: Factors Influencing Consumer Ad Avoidance' Journal of Customer Behaviour, vol 16, no. 2, pp. 183-201, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


    • Social media advertising
    • advertising avoidance
    • controversial adverts
    • structural equation modelling


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