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TNS Survey: Consumers Blame Oil Companies For Gas Hikes

May 21, 2007, 5:00 AM
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Oil companies have spent a lot of marketing dollars in the past couple of years to explain both record gasoline prices and their own record profits. But consumers aren't biting. At least that's what a new survey from marketing information company TNS says.

The survey on consumer attitudes toward rising gas prices in the U.S. finds that 90% of consumers say oil companies are responsible for current record high gas prices. Not far behind, per the survey, are governments.

Automakers, under the gun to lower corporate average fuel economy should perhaps find solace in the survey: Fewer than a third of consumers blame automakers for gasoline prices, fewer even than the number of consumers who blame themselves. About a third of consumers said they bear responsibility for gas prices.

The study reveals that oil companies will continue to face increasing consumer backlash as prices continue to escalate. The study is based on a representative national sample of 2,500 consumers in the TNS panel. The Internet-based survey was completed the week of May 7.

--Karl Greenberg

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