Universal differences in advertising avoidance behavior: A cross-cultural study

Topics: Demographics, Infomercial, Television advertisement Pages: 39 (6923 words) Published: April 8, 2014
Journal of Business Research 62 (2009) 947–954

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Journal of Business Research

Universal differences in advertising avoidance behavior: A cross-cultural study José I. Rojas-Méndez a,⁎, Gary Davies b,1, Canan Madran c,2 a
b
c

Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 925 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6 Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Booth Street West, Manchester, M15 6PB, United Kingdom Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 1 September 2007
Received in revised form 1 July 2008
Accepted 1 August 2008
Keywords:
Mechanical and behavioral
advertising avoidance
Demographics
Attitude toward advertising
Polychronicity

a b s t r a c t
The avoidance of TV advertising categories often include either mechanical (e.g., switching channels) or behavioral (e.g., talking to someone). Previous research seeking to explain avoidance with demographic and attitudinal factors shows conflicting results. Our aims are: to identify from these factors any that might consistently predict avoidance (by conducting surveys in three quite different cultures, the UK, Chile and Turkey), and: to compare the influence of demographic factors on avoidance with those of attitude to advertising. Males use more mechanical avoidance methods, whereas females use more behavioral avoidance methods. More educated people generally report higher behavioral avoidance. Family size and age help to explain avoidance in some countries but not in others. A negative overall attitude towards advertising is important generally in explaining mechanical avoidance. Behavioral avoidance is more important and is best explained by a combination of demographic and attitudinal factors. Country of residence is significant in predicting behavioral avoidance. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
We are typically exposed to between 600 and 625 potential contacts with advertising every day (Media Matters, 2007). In the UK (where not every channel carries advertising), each person views, on average, 40 TV ads every day, a volume not seen previously (Broadcasters Audience Research Board, 2007). Such an intensity may disillusion consumers and may explain why those watching television (our focus here) pay less attention to the adverts than to the television programs themselves (Abernethy, 1991). A consumer's tendency to be distracted increases markedly during advertising breaks (Moriarty and Everett, 1994), leading to what has been labeled as advertising avoidance, specifically defined as “all actions by media users that differentially reduce their exposure to ad content” (Speck and Elliot, 1997: 61).

Avoidance is of considerable concern to advertisers (Zufryden et al., 1993). Some studies report that zapping affects more than 28% of advertising (Van Meurs, 1998) and involves between 8 and 36% of the audience (Stafford and Stafford,1996). More recently, Tse and Lee (2001) found that 80.8% of viewers use various means to avoid advertisements. Prior research also suggests that advertising avoidance is higher for television than for other media types (Speck and Elliot, 1997). There are many different ways for viewers to avoid advertising (Speck and Elliot, 1997), and various labels are used to distinguish between and to categorize them. What we label here as mechanical

⁎ Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 613 520 2600x8014; fax: +1 613 520 4427. E-mail addresses: jose_rojas@carleton.ca (J.I. Rojas-Méndez), g.davies@mbs.ac.uk (G. Davies), cmadran@cu.edu.tr (C. Madran).

1
Tel.: +44 161 275 6457; fax: +44 161 275 6464.
2
Tel.: +90 532 377 82 62; fax: +90 322 338 72 86.
0148-2963/$ – see front matter © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2008.08.008

avoidance, also known as “channel surfing”, “channel grazing” or...

References: Broadcasters Audience Research Board. http://www.barb.co.uk/, 2007.
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