Friday, July 23, 2010

Misreading The Numbers

The headline read “Ads Online Gaining Acceptance.”

We all know why that is. The research was done by an ad industry group. And ad indsutry groups don't really want to report that ads online are becoming less desirable.

The numbers they’re basing their headline on are that 48% of respondents say that ads in online videos are just as acceptable as ads in TV shows. Only 7% said that ads in online videos were more acceptable than ads in TV shows. And, 46% said that ads in online videos were less acceptable than ads in TV shows, or, were unsure.

Just as acceptable is not, to me, a positive. After all, I don't find ads too acceptable on TV shows. So I could answer "yes" to the question "Are ads in online videos just as acceptable as ads in TV shows" and still be negative about ads in online videos.

The most accepting of ads in online videos were the millennials. Nearly a fifth of men ages 18 to 24 thought online video ads were more acceptable than TV ads. What does this mean exactly? That 4/5ths think ads in online video are less acceptable or the same as ads on TV.

That’s a somewhat different take than what one might get from the headline – “Ads Online Gaining Acceptance.”

It’s too bad, isn't it, that in our busy lives, all we have time for are the headlines?

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