RealTime IT News

iVillage to Quit Pop-Ups

Web publisher iVillage said on Monday that it would cease selling pop-up ads, citing research that suggests its chiefly female audience despises the format.

The New York-based company said a survey conducted on the site by site design researcher Vividence found that 92.5 percent of iVillage's female visitors said pop-ups were the most frustrating feature of the Web.

Additionally, while many in the industry believe that pop-ups generate high brand awareness, iVillage said its study indicated that the formats actually hurts the advertiser's image.

As a result, the firm said it would no longer run the ads -- which comprise about 5 percent to 6 percent of iVillage's inventory -- after its final pop-up campaigns conclude at the end of this quarter.

"We have built iVillage by listening to what women want, and our move to eliminate pop-up advertising is a direct example of this," said Nancy Evans, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the site. "It's not news that women consume media differently than men, yet many leading Web sites haven't done anything to adapt to this fact. At iVillage, we have based everything from our site design and functionality and now to our advertising formats on what we know women want and, more importantly, what works for them."

The company said it would still continue to run "a small number" of house ads and survey questions in pop-up format, which would account for less than one percent of all ads running on iVillage. The company added that it also would continue to sell pop-under ads.

In lieu of pop-ups, iVillage said it would continue to use and develop new ad formats that it says resonate better with its audience. Last year, the company began running interstitial ads during its online quizzes, and it said it is currently planning and testing new units, slated to debut next quarter.

iVillage added that its advertisers, which include units of consumer packaged goods giants like Gillette and Unilever expressed "overwhelming" support for the decision to cease selling pop-ups.

"We have been working closely with them to convert current pop-up ads into stronger, alternate formats to help yield higher results," said Vanessa Benfield, senior vice president of sales at iVillage.