SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Would advertising be so annoying if you got paid to pay attention to it?
A global survey revealed that although most people think there's too much advertising on television, the Internet and other media, more than four in 10 would be willing to accept even more ads if that meant smaller bills.
This idea was especially popular in Spain, Australia, the United States, Britain and China. Global marketing research firm Synovate, which conducted the survey, said it was an idea worth being considered by the advertising industry, which has been battered by the global economic downturn.
"Despite large majorities of people in every market ... saying there are too many ads on TV, 42 percent would be willing to accept even more ads in exchange for a discount on their subscription bill," Synovate's global executive director of media, Steve Garton, said in a statement.
Globally, 41 percent said they would be willing to accept more Internet advertising if they got discounts as well.
"This model is an interesting pursuit for the industry. If it could be linked with targeted, more relevant advertising ... it may just drive revenues across an increasingly fragmented audience," Garton added. For the survey, Synovate asked more than 8,600 people across 11 markets for their thoughts on media and advertising.
More than two-thirds said there are too many ads on TV and 39 percent felt there were too many ads on the Internet. Almost all -- 87 percent -- had actively tried to avoid TV and radio advertising, either by turning it off or changing channels, while two-thirds had avoided websites they felt had intrusive ads.
As for the world's favorite medium, the Internet was voted as the one thing most people -- 70 percent -- could not live without, narrowly edging out television, which got 69 percent.
The most hooked to the Web were Britons at 92 percent, followed by Spaniards, Australians, the Dutch and Americans.
But the Internet's overwhelming popularity did not sound a death knell for traditional media such as newspapers, which the study showed many markets -- especially Asia and Latin America -- were very attached to.
Fifty-five percent of Chinese are big newspaper fans, followed by 53 percent of both Hong Kongers and Indians. Thirty-five percent of Spanish respondents indicated they would miss newspapers a great deal if they were not there.
And while radio isn't valued as much as TV or the Internet, a majority of people said they couldn't live without it or would miss it a lot if it no longer existed.
"Advertisers are increasingly moving marketing budget online. For now, they need to ensure campaigns are effectively integrated across all media," Garton said.
"Mainstream media like TV, print and radio all clearly remain invaluable to large segments of populations. We're certainly nowhere near a time when advertisers should abandon them."
The survey was conducted in September 2009 and involved respondents in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, Britain and the United States. Synovate is the market research arm of Aegis Group plc.
Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Paul Tait