The Trust in TV Advertising

From the Guardian (free registration required), ITV have published its Corporate Responsibility report. One area it discussed is TV advertising – only 1 in 8 people watching the commercials (that cost 3.4billion GBP per year) agreed with the statement “the commercials shown on ITV are truthful and accurate”. Around half had no opinion and a third disagreed with it. So not only do we have increasing number of ways to avoid the ads, 1 in 3 people think they are lying anyway when they do watch them.

One other tidbit I found interesting was the statement in the report

The amount and frequency of advertising is regulated by Ofcom. Ofcom licences limit the amount of advertising ITV can broadcast to seven minutes-per-hour averaged over a day. In any particular hour the precise amount may vary and during peak viewing times (6.00pm to 11.00pm) the maximum in an hour is eight minutes.
The length of commercial breaks within programmes is also limited to be shorter than the breaks between programmes

This contrasts with the amount on US network TV. I read of blog post over the weekend (which I can’t find now…I knew I should have tagged it!) that said something like over 40% of prime time viewing was ads. I know it feels like it. My unscientific method tells me that for an hour long programme, there’s a break after the starting credits, it then gives you about 15 minutes before the next break and then they are every 8 minutes. The run times are mainly 41 minutes, giving you 18-19 minutes every hour of commericals.

In complete contrast was Danish TV…I was surprised to find programmes running all the way through even on commerical channels. i course this gives rise to some very strange start times, with programmes being advertised as starting at 20.53 etc.

Denmark is one of the countries that subtitles TV programmes. This has to be one of the factors in driving a population to speak English (often better than the english). Compare this with Germany. But there was something about Copenhagen that makes the average english tourist assume everyone speaks English and this is before they’ve seen the TV (See Rick’s post). But all the cues are given to you that this is an English speaking country – signs and instructions onthe public transport are in English as well as Danish, menus and tourist information is bilingual, announcements are often in both languages. Subconsciously you pick all of this up, meaning that you do not even think of checking if they speak English, which I would always do in Germany and France

2 thoughts on “The Trust in TV Advertising

  1. I was at reboot too and spoke to a dane about this and apparently some of the danish channels actually broadcast out of the UK so they can broadcast the 7/8 mins of adverts and get around the Danish restrictions.

  2. Around a third of American TV is advertising. I can’t even watch TV anymore without recording a show first so I can fast-forward through the commercials.