Americans have skewed view of ad industry

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The American view of the advertising profession could use repair, according to a J. Walter Thompson study titled "Ad Industry Perception Survey."

When asked about respect for the profession, only 14 percent of those surveyed say their fellow Americans respect ad people. The top three most respected are military personnel (79 percent), physicians (75 percent) and teachers (71 percent).

The study is an assessment of the line between the media-created perception of the industry and the real opinions held by American adults. JWT conducted a random online survey of 966 Americans, 18 years and older, with a 50/50 balance of male/female ratio, from September 5 to 12 .

Only 12 percent of those surveyed noted improvement of ad people's status. Ad professionals are seen as a "necessary good" by 31 percent of the population (besting politicians and car salesmen).

Other key findings include:

╖ 84 percent agree (strongly/somewhat), "Too many things are over-hyped now."

╖ 74 percent agree, "The Internet helps me make better product choices."

╖ 72 percent agree, "I get tired of people trying to grab my attention and sell me stuff."

╖ 52 percent agree, "There's too much advertising - I would support stricter limits."

╖ 47 percent regard "Advertising as background noise."

╖ 42 percent agree, "American advertising has improved in recent years."

╖ 38 percent believe "The advertising industry understands Americans in general and connects with them."

╖ 22 percent believe "The advertising industry understands and connects with me."

╖ 24 percent "resent advertising."

╖ 82 percent indicate a positive engagement with media overall.

╖ 59 percent consume "traditional" media.

╖ 41 percent consume "interactive" media.

╖ Two-thirds claimed, "Advertising is an important part of the American culture."

"The study significantly uncovers a basic disconnect between the ad industry's æworld view' and that of its audience," JWT's report said. "When asked to pick the word that others would use to describe them, 42 percent of the sample ranked themselves as æ pragmatists ' - justifying the feature-centric and end-to-end benefit ad approach resonating most with consumers today."

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