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A handbill (i.e., a leaflet distributed by hand) is a form of advertising especially common in high-traffic pedestrian districts. However, there are no previous reports in the literature relating to consumer perceptions of handbills as a promotional medium. This article reports on a telephone survey of a random sample of 240 interviewees in Hong Kong and represents a starting point for research on this topic. One hundred and seventy-four (72.5 percent) of the interviewees were classified as handbill acceptors, and 66 (27.5 percent) were classified as handbill nonacceptors. Among the handbill acceptors, 71.8 percent actually read the handbills. In addition, handbill acceptors were more likely to be female, younger, and to have had secondary or tertiary education. The main reason acceptors gave for taking handbills was to help the distributor finish his or her work promptly. The main reason nonacceptors gave for refusing handbills was that the handbills are distributed during peak hours, when they are too busy to stop. Handbill acceptors predictably had more favorable perceptions of handbill attributes than handbill nonacceptors. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for advertisers and future research.
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