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Consumers ‘turn from media’ in recession

Consumers ‘turn from media’ in recession

Consumers are hiding from things they don’t want to hear in this recession, claims new research findings. Over a quarter (27%) admit that they have consciously avoided bad news in the media over the past three months.

In addition, a quarter (26%) of those with satellite or cable television are planning to reduce or cancel their subscriptions.  This figure has risen from 15% six months ago.

The study was carried out by media agency the7stars.  Six months ago it carried out a similar survey into consumer buying behaviour, asking 1,000 respondents how the recession was affecting their attitudes and behaviour.

The previous study found that 38% of UK consumers were worried about their job security.  That figure has now risen to nearly half (45%) of the population, highlighting the amount of bad economic news that has bombarded us in recent months.

"A near-constant barrage of troubling news about the global and UK economy has led many people to simply switch off.  There is clearly a growing inclination among consumers to stick their heads in the sand until things improve,” said founding partner at the7stars, Jenny Biggam.

"Media companies like newspapers and television, already suffering from a downturn in advertising, need to understand this new reality and make sure they engage their audience."

The new research also found that three-quarters (75%) of consumers think big, expensive TV adverts are wasteful in the current climate, while almost half (46%) would stop buying their current newspaper if its price increased.

Biggam continued, "The feeling among many UK consumers is that this is a time for tightening belts and being careful in how they spend their money.  Companies - and media - looking to communicate with them need to understand this and change their methods accordingly.

“We've already seen a shift in marketing strategies as brands talk more about value and trustworthiness and less about luxury and keeping up with the Joneses."

Only 30% of consumers are optimistic that the downturn will end sooner rather than later.  This rises to 42% among 16-24 year-olds, but only 20% of those in the 45-54 age bracket - those who have actually lived through previous recessions - share the enthusiasm of their younger compatriots.

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