Many Americans bypass products with offensive ads


Maybe there is such a thing as bad publicity – and the kind of publicity that may negatively affect some is the kind they bring on themselves – their own advertising. A Harris Poll finds that 35% of Americans have avoided a product because of its advertising.

The poll, conducted over the internet for two days in early February, involved almost 2,200 adults and was done in conjunction with Adweek Media.

Of the 35%, 22% have refused a product because of its advertising within the past year, and 14% have done so more than a year ago. Another 22% haven’t done so, but have thought about it. 43% have never done it or considered it.

28% said they have refused a product because they didn’t like the spokesperson, and 27% said they have refused a product because they didn’t like the program or event it was sponsoring.

There are no strongly significant differences based on gender or age group. No one break-out was off more than 3% one way or the other from the 35% topline total of product eschewers.

However, there were some differences based on education and income. The more of either, the more likely that the person is a product avoider. 43% of college grads were in the category, and so were 39% of those with household incomes greater than $75K.

RBR-TVBR observation: To this day, this writer would not buy Wisk or Charmin toilet paper, based on ads we remember from our childhood. The admen who wanted to indelibly plant an image in our mind certainly succeeded – and we don’t like it, and our reaction is to punish them for it!