Parents Want More Family Content; Hold Advertisers Accountable

NEW YORK, November 3, 2010--American parents want advertisers to help provide more family entertainment options—and have a negative impression of the marketer/brand if they don’t, or worse, if the content in which advertisers’ messages appear is inappropriate. More than half of U.S. parents want viewing options the whole family can watch or discuss together comfortably, on television and online.  Even more significantly, three out of four hold advertisers accountable for the content in which their ads run.


These are the key findings in the 2010 trends study, the influential annual survey of families and parents commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers’ Alliance for Family Entertainment.  This year, 2,500 representative TV watchers around the country participated in the online survey.


“Our 2009 research revealed the importance of context and how incredibly critical it is to driving brand perception,” said Bob Liodice, president and CEO, ANA.  “This year our Alliance research confirmed that content choice is fundamentally more significant to the American family than ever before.  Parents pledge to support the advertisers who are supporting cross-generational stories on the broadcast networks, cable and online, versus the brands that advertise on shows that don’t measure up to family-friendly standards.”

An overwhelming 87% of respondents agreed with the phrase “Family friendly programming is programming that has generational appeal.”  More than six out of 10 believed it is important for network TV to offer family friendly viewing options; 57% said the same about cable shows; and 53% held the same opinion about Internet content.


More than half (56%) of all viewers said they are very or somewhat concerned about non-family friendly situations in programming and 68% of parents said the same.  Sexual content is the number one concern.  And while almost all respondents (96%) agreed that parents are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their children do not watch inappropriate content, a large number also believed that the TV networks (81%), advertisers (76%) and writers/producers (75%) shared in that responsibility.


In a significant shift from last year’s results, the percentage of people who believe that advertisers “are at least as responsible as the networks for offensive content” rocketed 20 percentage points—to 63% this year, up from 43% in 2009.


Added Michael Palmer, ANA Alliance executive vice president, “For 12 years this group of advertisers has been championing family entertainment choices.  The 2010 results are a clear signal that family brand advertisers can benefit by supporting family content on all channels. It’s gratifying to see quantitative support for the Alliance mission—and the findings illustrate how much marketers can gain from participation in Alliance programs.”


The study also underscored how important television remains for advertisers.  The 2010 Alliance research found that 80% of viewers believe that brand advertising as a method of funding broadcast and cable TV programming is acceptable, while only 31% were willing to watch ads on the Internet.  (Four out of 10 do not allow their children to watch video content online—up from 33% in 2009.)  And only 12% of respondents said they were willing to watch ads on a mobile device.


And the kinds of ads viewers want to see?  Given the state of the economy, it’s not surprising that ads focusing on sales and discounts top the list.  But there were encouraging results for branded entertainment as well: 58% of viewers noticed product placements on TV, and 43% reported being much or somewhat more favorable to product placement versus traditional advertising.


About the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment The ANA represents over 400 companies and 9,000 brands. These companies collectively spend over $250 billion in advertising and marketing every year. The Alliance for Family Entertainment is a group of nearly 40 national advertisers, supported by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), representing approximately 30% of all U.S. television advertising dollars.  Its mission is to find, nurture, develop and support high quality content the entire family can enjoy on multiple distribution platforms.  Since its inception (as the Family Friendly Programming Forum) more than a decade ago, the group has played a role in bringing 20 family primetime hit programs to air, including Friday Night Lights, Everybody Hates Chris, 8 Simple Rules and Gilmore Girls.


Contact:          Patty Kerr for ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment


                        (310) 344-4487



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