NEW YORK: Latest findings from US consumer research project Apollo show that exposure to television commercials reduces shoppers' sensitivity to price changes.

The latest study, which involved an unnamed brand, claims that frequent or heavy purchasers are even less sensitive to price when they watch TV ads.

Project Apollo, a joint venture between Arbitron and the Nielsen Company, tracks the shopping and media habits of more than 11,000 people in 5,000 households.

It has been piloted since early last year and is supported by some of the biggest names in consumer goods marketing, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Kraft Foods, Pfizer and SC Johnson.

It was hoped to roll-out a national service with 30,000 participating households by the end of this year, but Apollo's backers have said they will extend the trial period for a further quarter.

They say they want to build "the strongest possible business case for the commercialization of the proposed single-source marketing-information service". Some potential clients have bridled at the cost of the project, which initially sought 0.5% of marketing budgets.

In addition Arbitron will use the extra testing time to fine tune its Portable People Meter technology which tracks TV viewing and radio listening.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff