Forced exposure and psychological reactance: Antecedents and consequences of the perceived intrusiveness of pop-up ads

Abstract

This paper explores forced viewing of “pop-up ads” on the Internet to understand better how viewers come to define ads as irritating and decide to avoid them. Perceived intrusiveness was suggested as the underlying mechanism by which the process occurs. Antecedents of intrusiveness were identified that affect perceptions of ads as interruptions, including congruence of the advertisement content with the current task and intensity of cognition at the moment the ad pops up. The consequences of intrusiveness were shown to be caused by feelings of irritation and ad avoidance. The results provide an understanding of how consumers experience forced exposure situations in interactive environments and highlight implications for advertisers seeking to increase the effectiveness of on-line advertising.

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