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US teens are receptive to advertising

News, 31 May 2017
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NEW YORK: American teenagers aged 13 to 17 differ from adults aged 18+ in that they agree advertising helps them choose what to buy, a new survey has found.

Based on a nationally representative sample of more than 250 US teenagers, the survey by research firm YouGov revealed that 58% of this age group believe advertising helps them with their purchasing choices, while 42% disagree.

In addition, 55% say they enjoy watching ads starring their favourite celebrities, a sentiment which YouGov said is generally not shared by American adults who, for the most part, don't enjoy watching ads that feature their favourite celebrities.

Looking at the findings in greater detail, YouGov also revealed differences of opinion between girls and boys as well as between young teens and their older counterparts.

For example, 55% of teenage boys agree that advertising helps them to choose what to buy, but this rises to 60% of teenage girls, who are also more open to ads starring their favourite celebrity (58% versus 52% of boys).

Meanwhile, younger teenagers aged 13 and 14 are much more likely than 16- and 17-year olds to agree that advertising helps them when choosing what to buy (64% versus 51%).

However, when it comes to watching ads starring their favourite celebrities, teenagers aged 14 (67%) and 15 (63%) are far more responsive than teens aged 13 (43%), 16 (54%) and 17 (48%).

YouGov also asked teenagers how trustworthy they find ads and, interestingly, it appears opinion is split with 47% trusting ads while 46% find them untrustworthy.

Boys (52%) appear to be far more trusting of ads than girls (42%), but there aren't great differences across the age groups when it comes to the question of trust.

Older consumers have a different perspective, YouGov said, as it pointed to a separate survey it conducted last March in which it found 61% of US adults aged 18+ reported that they generally trust the ads they're exposed to.

Data sourced from YouGov; additional content by WARC staff

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