Consumer Perceptions of Advertising Clutter and its Impact Across Various Media

Paul Surgi Speck and Michael T. Elliott

The public's attitude towards advertising has turned more negative in recent decades (Zanot, 1984). The reasons cited include the rise of consumerism, perceived deception, offensive stereotypes, and an increasing amount of advertising. The overall level of advertising is very high (Cooper, 1994). Americans are exposed to over 500 commercial messages a day. (Bovee and Arens, 1995). Network prime time 24% promotional material, consumer magazines contain 50% advertising, and many newspapers are 64% advertising (Television Commercial Monitoring Report, 1995; 1994/1995 Magazine Handbook, 1995). The sixtieth anniversary issue of Consumer Reports lists 'commercial clutter' as one of six issues that 'should take center stage on the national agenda' (Consumer Reports, 1996). Advertising clutter may also reduce the effectiveness of individual ads and advertising in specific media.