Men More Likely Than Women to Skip Ads

Fewer Females Fast-Forward, but Many Still Don't Watch Commercials

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Men are more likely to skip commercials than women, according to Roper Reports' 2006 Media, Advertising and Brands survey.
The study's results will likely fuel the industry debate over commercial ratings and consumer engagement.
The study's results will likely fuel the industry debate over commercial ratings and consumer engagement. Credit: AP

Roper surveyed 1,000 people, and of the 24% of respondents who were DVR owners, 65% of men said they skip commercials to cut down on the viewing time of recorded shows. Meanwhile, 56% of women said they fast-forward through the ads.

In a similar survey last year, Roper Reports found that 11% of respondents were DVR owners, with 21% of men saying they used their DVRs to skip commercials, compared with 10% of women.

Evolution of the channel-flipper
Why the difference? It could be the evolution of the male channel-flipper.

Brad Adgate, senior VP-research at Horizon Media, said: "I don't think it's that surprising. Considering men control the remote at home, why wouldn't they control the fast-forwarding mechanism as well?"

Men, particularly young men, are more likely to use new technologies and tend to be early adopters, Mr. Adgate said. Marketers are increasingly looking into different ways to target young men, such as advergaming, satellite radio and consumer-generated content, he said.

On the other hand, 20% of women who own DVRs said they generally don't mind watching commercials and tend not to skip them. Eighteen percent said they let the commercials run but don't watch them.

Multi-tasking
"They might use that time to actually do something else around the house, maybe clean something up, maybe make quick phone call," said John Bishop, a consultant with GFK Roper Consulting. "Maybe they are reading a magazine, multi-tasking, doing more things at once, where men just compartmentalize and probably just [are] only watching TV."

This behavior reminded Mr. Adgate of a hot topic in the industry: viewer engagement and commercial ratings. The women in the survey weren't changing the channel or skipping the commercials, but they weren't necessarily paying attention to them, either.
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