Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Stealth advertising' sliding under radar into TV newscasts

12.07.2007
Small market newscasts often include segments that benefit advertisers, say UO researchers

Advertisers’ messages are infiltrating small-market television newscasts at about the same percentage that owners of digital video recorders are skipping the commercials, say researchers at the University of Oregon.

What’s disturbing about this trend of “stealth advertising” is that viewers seldom are aware of potential slants in coverage because the connection of a story to an advertiser rarely is disclosed, said Jim Upshaw, a professor of journalism. Stealth advertising, he said, uses commercial messages that are intended to promote a product or service “that are cloaked in some other garment than a normal commercial.”

“Stations are not telling their viewers that what they are putting on the air in news or feature stories or in other news content is being done to court a specific advertiser,” Upshaw said. “I think people need to learn to be media literate, informed viewers of television. We may not be able to stop these practices but we need to be aware that these practices do exist.”

Upshaw and colleagues monitored two evening newscasts a month at 17 U.S. stations over four months in early 2004, including a February ratings sweeps week in which stations target larger audiences and thereby increase advertising revenues. The markets were affiliated with the four major commercial networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox).

They found that 90 percent of 294 monitored newscasts included at least one instance per newscast of stealth advertising. They documented 750 instances, about 2.5 individual slots per newscast – with an average of one minute, 42 seconds per occurrence – of commercial influences.

The study – co-authored by Upshaw and colleagues David Koranda, a visiting professor of advertising, and former journalism doctoral student Gennadiy Chernov, now at the University of Regina in Canada -- appeared in the June issue of the journal Electronic News.

Small market stations showed more commercially influenced material, either connected with or not connected with paid advertising, the researchers found. Small and medium markets also showed more explicitly commercially influenced promotional content.

“News is the big income generator for television stations,” Upshaw said. “Something like 40 percent of a station’s advertising sales revenue comes from ads running during newscasts or news-related presentations. Big markets do this too but often in other ways and different time slots.”

Upshaw spent 22 years as a television journalist. From 1982 to 1992 he was a reporter for the NBC-owned station in Washington, D.C. He retired from full-time teaching in June 2006. Upshaw and colleagues noted that commercial TV stations are indeed businesses.

Previous studies have found that local small-market stations broadcast a variety of news and news-like materials that appear to have advertiser influences. The purpose of the UO study was to provide a national content analysis that moves researchers into “an unprecedented exploratory effort to understand this apparent threat to the long-term credibility of television news.”

The researchers explored promotional tone or content, product placement on the screen within stories or even on the desks of anchors, sponsored segments within newscasts and news framing, in which a legitimate story quietly raises positives images of companies or brands. They also noted anecdotal examples of commercial influence at many TV stations.

In addition, the UO study explored recent trends that may be driving advertisers and television stations, respectively, to find new ways to reach the public or raise revenues.

New technologies, they noted, have allowed the public to bypass commercial radio and television stations through satellite radio, downloadable music and digital recording. A 2001 study found that owners of digital recording devices (in 5 percent of U.S. homes) spend 60 percent of their time watching recorded or delayed programs and skip 92 percent of commercials. A study in 2004 projected that that by 2010 some 41 percent of U.S. households will have such devices and advertising skipping may cost the television industry $27 billion in lost revenue.

The study’s objective was to gauge the extent of material that may have commercializing effects on newscasts, and thus potentially on viewers, the authors wrote. The study did not directly question the motives and intents of news professionals, station managers and advertisers, they added.

“Further research should broaden scholarly understanding of the complex relations between television advertising and television journalism,” they wrote. “One aim should be to expose decision-making factors that can allow unlabeled commercial elements to bob in a stream of ‘objective’ news content.”

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uoregon.edu

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>