June 18, 2012
More Than 30 Percent of TV Viewers Change the Channel as Soon as Political Advertisements Air, New Survey Finds: Nearly 50 percent of Respondents Said They Will Change the Channel or Mute the TV During a Negative Political Ad
A new survey commissioned by integrated marketing communications agency MGH found that 32 percent of survey respondents change the channel as soon as a political advertisement airs and during political news coverage, and nearly half (47 percent) of viewers will change the channel or mute the TV during a negative political ad. The Baltimore agency commissioned the survey to find if consumers change their viewing habits during election season. Not surprisingly, the vast majority — 88 percent — of survey respondents said they are turned off by negative political advertising. Additionally, when looking at the age breakdown of younger millennials aged 18-24, the survey found slightly higher percentages, including the revelations that 45 percent change the channel during political news coverage, 39 percent change the channel as soon as they see a political advertisement, 20 percent are more likely to watch programs online, and 19 percent are more likely to record programs they want to watch to avoid commercials. "This year's election is gearing up to be a tight race, and with tens of millions of advertising dollars being put toward mudslinging political television ads, marketers need to pay attention to some of these statistics to make sure that their consumers aren't changing the channel on their clients," said MGH president Andy Malis in a news release. "During election years, television advertising space is limited and more expensive, so advertisers need to get creative and integrated with their media campaigns to ensure their message is getting through the clutter."
According to a recent New York Times article, at least $50 million worth of ads will appear in swing states in the next several weeks — about five months out from the election.