New Delhi: Nearly half of Indian consumers who are connected on the Internet feel they are "constantly followed" by online advertising and the menace of intrusive and uncontrolled campaigns are ruining consumer experience, according to global research agency Kantar TNS.
In a study titled 'Connected Life', the research agency said the findings point to the need for a major rethink for the online advertising industry in India in terms of how it should reach out to consumers.
"What would come as a shock to the industry, it has been found that nearly half (47 per cent) of India's connected consumers feel 'constantly followed' by online advertising," it said.
In addition, the study revealed that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of consumers in the Asia-Pacific "actively ignore" social posts or content from brands (21 per cent in India).
Commenting on the findings, Kantar TNS India Executive Director Anusheel Shrivastava said: "Amid positive signs where social media is becoming one of the most trusted sources for millennials, the menace of intrusive and uncontrolled online advertising is ruining the consumer experience in India."
In the study of over 70,000 consumers by Kantar TNS, it was also found that the connected consumers in India are fans of social media.
"The top five most popular social media platforms in India are Facebook (75 per cent), YouTube (64 per cent), Twitter (34 per cent), Instagram (25 per cent) and Snapchat (19 per cent), representing alternative ways of interacting with audiences," it added.
According to the Kantar TNS study, consumers shy away from traditional online advertising while influencers and celebrities on social channels hold the key to connecting with millennials.
"More than half (53 per cent) of the online 16?24 year olds in India say they trust what people say online about brands more than 'official' sources such as newspapers, brands' own websites or TV adverts," it said.
This rising 'Social Trust' in India is one of the highest seen globally and says a lot about the challenges in this market, the study added.
Clearly, millennials are the more influencer-oriented group, trusting bloggers and peers rather than information from brands. The older generation's 'influencer network' is still primarily friends and family.
Kantar TNS said developments in mobile technology are a clear driver, with the number of smartphone users across the Asia-Pacific now numbering over a billion, and increasingly powerful smartphone cameras giving connected users the opportunity to take and share photos instantly.