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Whether or not an ad faces other ads has nothing to do with the ad being seen or read, according to a Readex Research study of scores from 3,250 1-page, 4-color ads that faced only editorial and 2,009 ads that were adjacent to other content. When participants were asked to indicate which ads they remembered seeing and reading, the average Saw (67 percent) and Read (24 percent) scores showed no differences based on surrounding elements.
According to Readex Research, a visually interesting ad will be seen and can attract readership whether or not it faces editorial, and positioning an ad among other ads will not automatically have a negative impact on its success. So, instead of turning to location preferences to boost ad performance, advertisers should be more successful if they focus on ad content.
1. Source: May 2008 Readex ResearchAE Memo 4, Does Surrounding Content Affect Ad Readership.