Does Clutter Degrade the Media Environment?

Debbie Solomon
J. Walter Thompson, USA.

One of the key issues in media research today is advertising effectiveness. Research has shown that there are many factors in the media environment that impact upon advertising effectiveness. Advertising clutter is one of those factors and it has been growing in a number of countries.


The United States

Commercial clutter in the United States reached an all-time high in 1997. According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies Television Monitoring Report, there were over 15 minutes of non-program material in prime time (our least cluttered daypart) in November 1997. Of this, over eleven minutes were commercials. Non-program material includes commercials, public service announcements, program credits, promotions, station identification, etc. We look at both commercials and total non-program material because viewers see all these elements as interruptions to programming.