Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad DVR?

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Digital-video recorders may not be the death of TV advertising after all, at least not anytime soon.

According to an internal poll of a couple dozen or so A-list clients of the nation’s largest direct response company, ID Media, only 20% "strongly agreed" with the statement that DVRs would "threaten the viability of television advertising in the next three to five years." That’s the good news. The bad news is that 56% said they "somewhat agreed" with that statement.

OK, back to the good news. Even if DVR’s do jeopardize TV advertising’s effectiveness, 36% said they still wouldn’t shift spending from TV, and an overwhelming 88% said there is still "no clear alternative" to TV advertising.

ID Media’s clients include American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, and HBO and represent hundreds of millions of TV ad dollars, though the company didn’t identify which clients responded.

ID Media CEO Lynn Fantom said the company was most surprised by the lack of alarm over digital video recorders, which she points out have been on everybody’s radar screen. She said the executives also "weren’t that excited" about product placement.

The company polled 100 clients, with 27 responding. A good response rate, but too small a sample to be statistically valid.

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