QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Have You Begun Your Christmas Shopping?
No wonder the stores are so crowded. Although Americans are often accused of living in the moment and failing to plan for the future, it seems they make an exception where shopping is concerned. Or, at least, a fair number of them do. In a nationwide survey conducted for Adweek last month-with well over a hundred shopping days left until the holidays-people were asked whether they've already begun their Christmas shopping. Lo and behold, 20 percent of respondents said they had. Must take advantage of those Bastille Day sales, eh? Women (27 percent) were far more likely than men (13 percent) to have begun making Christmas purchases. You can judge for yourself whether this gender gap reflects a greater capacity for planning ahead or merely a greater proclivity for shopping. Either way, advertisers that hold their fire until after Thanksgiving may want to reconsider the timetable for their ad campaigns. A breakdown of the data by age group found the 35-44-year-olds (26 percent) the most likely to have begun their shopping and the 18-24-year-olds (15 percent) the least likely.
Less Wired Than Tubed
As college students return to the groves of academe, lots of electronic gear goes with them. The intellectual rigors of coursework evidently leave students enough time and energy for watching TV-even if it involves setting the VCR. But you'll note that Internet access remains more the exception than the rule. And even computers are hardly as universal a fixture in student domiciles as one might have assumed. The data come from polling conducted by Call Home America, a residential 1-800 phone service based in Franklin, Mich.