We don't mind being hit with ads when searching for stuff online, but we don't fancy the idea of having ads sent to our mobile phones. That's the conclusion of a new survey from analyst firms Nielsen/NetRatings and WebVisible into consumer behaviour and attitudes towards online advertising.

Three quarters of US web users (74 per cent) said they prefer finding products and services through search engines rather than having ads sent directly to them.

Blyk

A massive 92 per cent said receiving advertising on their mobile phones - even local business ads - would be irritating. This is interesting, considering that newly launched mobile network operator Blyk offers 16 to 24-year-olds free calls and texts in exchange for mobile ads and surveys.

Over half of the 2,000 respondents said they only get ads they're interested in or need via the web (56 per cent) and TV (53 per cent).

Some 74 per cent said they would use a search engine to look for a local retail or service business. That was followed by the Yellow Pages (65 per cent), online yellow pages (50 per cent), local newspaper (44 per cent), phone directory (33 per cent), television (29 per cent) and consumer review websites (18 per cent).