It may seem as though pop-up ads are everywhere, but according to analysts at research firm Nielson/Netratings they only account for a small proportion of online advertising and unfortunately, they're here to stay.

During the first seven months of 2002, pop-up and pop-under adverts accounted for just two percent of the online advertising market.

From an advertiser's point of view, pop-ups are more successful than banner ads. A recent report from Statistical Research found that pop-ups were 50 percent more successful than banner ads.

But the same report showed that internet users weren't quite so happy, with 62 percent agreeing strongly that pop-ups interfered with their reading or use of a web page, compared to just 31 percent for banner ads.

"Despite consumers' general distaste for online ads, a few advertisers clearly view the benefits of pop-up advertising as greater than the potential harm to brand image," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics at Nielson/Netratings.

"And while a growing number of websites are addressing consumer concern by outlawing them altogether, we anticipate the continuing negativity surrounding pop-ups ads will lead to new designs that are less intrusive and more responsive to customer expectations," added Buchwalter.