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Two stories are a case study in survey design and selection bias


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Two stories in eMarketer only eight days apart illustrate the dangers of selection bias. The first story, sourced from comScore, shows that Millennials are blocking ads at a robust 16.2% in the US:


Numbers like this are enough to set off warning bells in most marketers’ minds, but the second story in eMarketer would make them apoplectic. According to this story a full two-thirds of Millennials are using ad blockers:


If Fractl and Moz were using their audience as the source for their survey then it would be heavily biased towards young internet marketers (a theory reinforced with their statements that another survey skewed younger and male). This audience is much more likely to block ads than the general population.


So, are 63% of all Millennials blocking ads? Unlikely. Are 16% of Millennials in the US blocking ads? Pretty likely. This is still a problem, exacerbated by Apple including ad blocking in iOS9, but the sky isn’t falling quite as quickly as the first number would indicate.

Other stories in eMarketer:

Source: eMarketer

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