Bring on the holiday cheer, but not before Turkey Day

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An overwhelming majority of readers like their Christmas season to start after Thanksgiving, with 89% of voters saying "bah humbug" to retailer advertising start dates as early as Halloween.

"Consumers are feeling forced into the holiday and if they don't resent it now, they will soon," said Selina Gonzalez, a graduate student in mass communications at the University of South Carolina. "I do not think it will ultimately keep people from shopping. However, a happy customer generally spends more money, right?" said Candace Portman, marketing director for Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers.

Rebecca Larger, a public-relations specialist for Leon Advertising & Public Relations, warns that "the more of Christmas people see, the more they'll begin to tune it out and become immune to advertisers' messages."

However, since people are shopping as early as Halloween, some argue that marketing is fair game. "Brands should be free to advertise where and when their potential customers are shopping," said Tommy Cooper, business manager for Cooper's Vic. "A certain percentage of the population has probably been holiday shopping since July; they'll be receptive and the rest of us will be oblivious," said Shea Kelly, VP-group media director for Mullen's MediaHub. "People are buying, so why stifle a good economy?" said Ron Foxworthy, operations manager for R/A Performance Group.

What you say: 89% of readers believe marketers are starting the Christmas season too early; they prefer wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about the holidays. Only 11% think October is the right time to start hauling out the holly.
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