Survey: Newspaper Political Ads More Believable

By: E&P Staff

Registered voters are more likely to believe political advertisements placed in newspapers than those on TV or radio, according to a poll sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), Vienna, Va.

When asked to rank each medium on a 10-point believability scale, 32% of voters said political ads in newspapers were more believable than those in brochures (27%), on network TV (26%), on cable TV (25%), and on radio (22%).

Fifty-seven percent said they experience some degree of indecision in the final days before an election. Of that group, three out of four said they are regular newspaper readers.

Those who actually vote are regular newspaper readers, the survey found. Of voters who cast ballots in the 2000 and 2002 election, half said they read a newspaper every day, and 70% said they read a paper at least several times per week.

Among adults who voted in the 2002 elections, 32% said TV ads were the most helpful as they decided how to vote in state and local elections, while 24% cited newspaper ads, 13% brochures, 6% radio, and Internet 4%.

Forty-nine percent said they go to their daily newspaper specifically to look for ads.

The telephone survey polled 1,200 registered voters Aug. 6-10. The poll was conducted jointly by the Cromer Group, a Democratic polling firm in Washington, and Moore Information, a GOP firm in Portland, Ore.

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