Avoiding Television Advertising: Some Explanations from Time Allocation Theory

José I. Rojas-Méndez
Universidad de Taica, Chile

Gary Davies
Manchester Business School

The authors wish to acknowledge experian plc that allowed the use of MOSAIC for this research. We would also like to thank Dr. David Bennison, reader in the Locational Planning and Marketing Group, Department of Retailing and Marketing, The Manchester Metropolitan University, and John Byrom, research assistant in the same group, for their assistance with the MOSAIC software


While Watching Television we choose whether or not to watch any advertising screened during or between programs. Previous work on avoidance (e.g., Danaher, 1995; Danaher and Beed, 1994) has been largely descriptive. Our aim here is to propose and test a quantitative model of advertising avoidance that builds on these insights but which aiso explains why people avoid watching advertising. In doing so we draw upon previous work on attitudes toward advertising (particularly that by Pollay and Mittal, 1993) as a predictive factor for avoidance. We also test the idea that our attitudes to advertising, and therefore its avoidance, are shaped by the issue of time and our attitude toward that precious commodity, as watching advertising absorbs time. Understanding and explaining avoidance are important at a time when alternatives to TV advertising, such as the internet, are growing in importance. Unless viewers watch the advertising that pays for their programming, advertisers will reallocate their budgets to other media. The practical issues here then include an understanding of what might be done to increase the attention ot viewers and to counter any propensity to avoidance.