With the world leaping into the digital era, more and more industries shifted online, targeting users dependent on the online platforms for almost the majority of their days. As a result, advertisements have shifted online and targeted their audience through personalized messages and content. While personalized ads came in with their benefits, they have also emerged with highly controversial issues such as intrusiveness, ad clutter, and more, resulting in more people avoiding or even blocking the ads. This study examines the usage of ad blockers concerning personalized advertisements. The area of research is looked at from 3 different perspectives: users, advertising professionals, and professionals from ad blocker companies. In terms of the users, the research study examined users' perceived threats and benefits of targeted ads, their attitude toward targeted ads, ad avoidance and usage of ad blockers. Three moderating variables were adopted in the current study, which are demographics, ad type, and device type, to examine whether the variables impact the relationship between the attitude towards personalized ads and ad avoidance tendency and ad blockers usage. As for the advertising professionals, the study aimed to examine the industry's awareness on users' concerns about personalized ads, explain the impact of ad blockers usage on the industry and the preventative measures taken to counteract the usage of ad blockers. Finally, a further dimension sought to explain the perception of professionals from ad blocker companies of personalized ads and forecast ad blockers' future.

In order to research the objectives of the study, mixed research methodologies of qualitative and quantitative were used. Using convenience sampling, a survey was conducted on 477 respondents to examine users' perceptions and motives for using ad blockers on targeted online ads. Usage of simple linear regression was used to analyze further and explain the relationship between the variables. On the other hand, in-depth interviews were done with ten advertising professionals and three professionals from ad blocker companies to examine the research objectives further. The findings have shown a statistical significance between perceived benefits and threats with the attitude towards advertising, the attitude and ad avoidance tendency, and ad avoidance and ad blocker usage. Furthermore, as a moderating variable, the device type has been shown to positively impact the relationship between attitude towards personalized and ad avoidance tendency, whereas gender has shown to positively impact the relationship between attitude towards personalized advertisements and ad blockers usage.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Graduation Date

Spring 6-21-2022

Submission Date


First Advisor

Hesham Dinana

Committee Member 1

Ahmed Taher

Committee Member 2

Sherin Moussa


160 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item