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Getting Guidance From (Gulp) TV

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Advertisers lament the difficulty in reaching young folks via TV. And yet, the medium continues to exert a strong influence on significant numbers of teens and young adults. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey, excerpted in the chart below, gives an indication of this. Girls are more TV-impressionable than boys when it comes to the products they use. In the 12-14 age bracket, 26 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys said TV influences them in this respect. In the 15-17 bracket, 25 percent of girls and 14 percent of boys said so. There was even more of a gap between the number of girls 12-14 saying TV influences the way they dress (34 percent) and the number of boys in that age cohort saying so (14 percent). Among the poll's 21-24-year-olds, men were more likely than women to say that TV influences the way they talk (19 percent vs. 13 percent). Thus, it seems TV advertisers can count on this age group's louder mouths to generate word-of-mouth for a catchy slogan or a turn of phrase.