Consumers Favor a Return to TV Programming, Advertising

With television networks, advertisers, and agencies wondering how to proceed after the unsettling events of September 11th, a new "flash" study from Knowledge Networks-Statistical Research indicates that, in general, consumers are comfortable with a return to normalcy in TV programming and advertising.

Conducted during the weekend of September 22nd-23rd among Knowledge Networks' nationally representative panel, the research shows that 80% of Americans feel it is acceptable for the TV networks to go ahead with the introduction of new fall programs, and that 77% believe that enough time has passed to resume advertising on entertainment programs.

One area where respondents expressed mixed feelings was advertising on news coverage; while 52% said they did not mind the resumption of such ads, 48% believe that advertising should still be withheld from news coverage.

In addition, the study shows that 76% of consumers said that professional sports leagues waited a sufficient amount of time before resuming play.

KN-SRI also sought consumer feedback on a hypothetical five-minute nightly program offering the latest news on the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. Eighty-two percent (82%) of respondents said they would be interested in watching such a program, and 67% of those interested feel they would see companies sponsoring the program as "industry leaders."

In addition, 40% of consumers interested in the hypothetical program said they would be more inclined to buy products from its sponsors - an unusually high "acceptance" rate.

Based on data from 452 households, the study is the first joint product to emerge since Knowledge Networks, which offers the only nationally representative panel of Web-enabled households, acquired assets from Statistical Research, renowned for its high-quality research in media and home technology. KN-SRI now services top advertisers, agencies, and media companies, as well as manufacturers, retailers, and others.

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