Television advertising-avoidance research delivers a broad range of estimates for the extent of channel switching during advertising breaks (i.e., commercial zapping). The diverse methods likely contribute to the disparity in commercial-zapping estimates. This study implements a combined hidden-observation/survey approach and tests potential predictors of commercial zapping. The use of remote controls emerged as a significant driver of observed commercial zapping. Perceived clutter and advertising triggers emerged as significant predictors of reported commercial zapping. This study empowers media planners to determine prime-time advertising-audience erosion more accurately. Additionally, with a greater degree of confidence, advertisers can address factors that drive channel-switching behavior and dismiss factors that do not.
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