Advertisers’ concerns over the impact of new ‘personal video recorder’ technology appear well-founded, judging by a new American survey from CNW Marketing Research.

The study found that users of PVR systems such as ReplayTV and TiVo, which allow viewers to skip commercial breaks, do so a massive 72.3% of the time.

This figure is far higher than those for fast-forwarding through ads on videotape (which viewers do 15.6% of the time) and ignoring commercials on live TV broadcasts to do something else (44.6% of the time).

The most-skipped ads were for fast food, mortgages, credit cards, domestic products and forthcoming TV shows, all of which were zapped through at a rate of over 90%.

Faring slightly better were commercials for cars (skipped 71.3% of the time) and feminine products (64.1%). The least avoided category was beer (32.7%), with drugs the only other sector to hold the interest of over half of viewers.

“From the research we found that beer ads had high entertainment value,” explained Art Spinella, CNW’s vp and general manager. “Drug ads were something else. Think of it as the hypochondriac in most of us who are looking for a magic pill to resolve a medical problem or cure some real or imagined illness.”

However, the study was set up specifically to measure auto ads, and does not claim to give a definitive picture of all other areas.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff