NU Online News Service, April 15, 2004, 11:42 a.m. EDT – U.S. businesses should do a better job of aiming their marketing and advertising efforts at the right consumers.[@@]

J. Walker Smith, president of Yankelovich Inc., Chapel Hill, N.C., a market research firm, delivered that message today during a speech at the American Association of Advertising Agencies conference in Miami.

When Yankelovich researchers interviewed 601 U.S. adults in February, they found that 33% were so angry about marketing and advertising that they claimed they would be willing to accept a slightly lower standard of living to live in a society without marketing and advertising, Smith said, according to a written summary of his speech.

The researchers also found that 69% of the survey participants were interested in products and services that would help them skip or block marketing, and that 65% said there should be more limits and regulations on marketing and advertising.

Companies that flood electronic mailboxes with pitches for Viagara, Cialis and Web-based casinos may be hurting all marketers: 53% of Yankelovich survey participants said spam has turned them against all forms of marketing and advertising.

Smith argued that businesses can decrease consumer resistance by working to increase the odds that consumers will get messages that are relevant to their specific needs.