Advertising and Attitudes towards the Internet

According to a recent report from Arbitron and Edison Media Research, 20% of people in the US qualify the internet as “essential” to their lives, compared to 39% who say the same about television. Separating all four-year college graduates and people with even higher levels of education, however, the study determined that 30% say the internet is essential, compared to 32% who say the same thing about television and only 13% who say the same about newspapers. The Arbitron/Edison study was conducted among 2,511 people, age 12 and older, in July 2002. Marketers searching for the ever-desired “cool” factor will be interested to know that the study determined that 46% of respondents between the ages of 12 and 34 say the internet is the most “cool and exciting” medium, as opposed to just 29% who say the same about TV. Despite the indication found by Arbitron and Edison that people in the US are placing increasing value on the internet, the bulk of US ad spending is still allotted to television, newspapers and magazines, according to a report from Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) and CMR. In August 2002, TNS and CMR reported that internet advertising grew by 1.9% between the first half of 2001 and the first half of 2002 to $1.53 billion. Local newspaper ad spending, however, grew by 6.3% over the same time period to $9.52 billion and spending for TV grew by 4.2% to $10.39 billion.

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