Money Minute: Some Ads Found To Be More Irksome Than Others


We're bombarded by all kinds of advertisements every day, but some are way more annoying than others.

A survey by Consumer Reports found 77 percent of Americans are particularly irked by robocalls. Also high on the list of what the magazine call "adgravation" are false claims that you've won something, fake bills that look real, pop-up ads on websites, and exaggerated ads for medical remedies. Consumer Reports also notes that people past the age of 60 are more annoyed by these ads than younger people.

Americans also love to hate their cable companies. A separate survey by the American Customer Service Index shows our opinion of cable and Internet providers fell from the already low levels of a year ago. Part of the problem is that prices have been rising faster than the rate of inflation. Time Warner Cable (TWC) received the lowest scores, and Verizon's (VZ) FiOS service dropped the most. AT&T's (T) U-verse and DirecTV (DTV) had the best ratings.

For the second time in a week, a major restaurant chain has been sold. TGI Fridays was acquired by a pair of private-equity firms for a reported price of $800 million. This comes just a week after Darden Restaurants (DRI) sold its Red Lobster chain for more than $2 billion. These chains, and others in the middle tier known as casual dining, have been squeezed in recent years. Customer traffic has declined for five straight years.

Here on Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) slid 137 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 12 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 29 points.

Finally, the NBC peacock finally has something to strut about. The network says it will finish the current season as the leading broadcast network among the highly sought after 18-to-49 year old demographic group. It's a big win for NBC (CMCSA) after languishing in fourth place for nearly a decade. The improvement was led by the Winter Olympics, as well as Sunday Night Football and shows like "The Voice." CBS (CBS) retained its status for the most total viewers.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Skinny guy keeps popping up yammering, "Check out the price of the same room at 500 locations across the country with" Sheesh! How obsessed with that room are we?

May 21 2014 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jrexmarda's comment

Can you say virus?

May 21 2014 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to true_liberal1's comment

On my TV?

May 22 2014 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Most of the ads just suck as they are mindless and endless badgering that Americans seem to need these days to keep them stimulated and awake. They prey on the weak and uneducated who will impulse buy anything and then once common sense enters into it they blame the vendors- Kind of like when they blamed the banks for getting them into bad mortgages they could never afford but did so anyway to keep up the image of being in lockstep with todays societal need for material things- whether they can be afforded or not!

May 21 2014 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't get many robocalls, but that's because I'm cheap and don't spend alot.

The thing that irks me is the "bill that's not a bill" in my email. Getting things in yellow or red envelopes marked "2nd attempt" or the like are very misleading. They have me thinking I missed something, only to find out that it's some jerk service company wanting to extend a contract or some company that I've never heard of trying to sell me an extended warranty for my 1 year old appliance.

I don't suppose those things can be regulated, but they are annoying.

May 21 2014 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jj2301's comment

email --> mail

May 21 2014 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was getting about 25 robo calls a week on my land line. It drove me nuts. I asked AT&T if there was a solution and they said there was not, so I cancelled that service. Problem solved.

May 21 2014 at 3:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mbuckmeyer's comment

According to the FTC, over 20 percent of all calls placed to a landline are now robocalls. I haven't had one of those for over 5 years now, and I can't figure out why anybody would pay to keep one.

May 21 2014 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I never believed the importance of the character endorsing any product. I felt if I like a particular kind of beer, for instance I'd buy it and if I don't like it, I won't,even if God himself appeared and advertised for that. But then I started to believe the power of the spokesperson for a product.
Having that thing, Flo, or whatever her name peddle for Progressive Insurance was a main factor I never use that company as my carrier, even if their claim of saving money is true.Yike!

May 21 2014 at 3:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

All suppliers with captive audiences tend to have wretched customer service. Go figure.

There are individual exceptions. We have had good luck with our rep at Comcast. But he gave us his direct-dial and for the last three years has been reachable as needed. As noted, the exception, not necessarily the rule.

May 21 2014 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who's customer service is the worst. It's a toss up.

May 21 2014 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The market audience for many commercials is ignored by many age groups. Most targeted groups are too busy texting or tallking to somebody else. The commercials are like annoying flies that you swat away whenever they interrupt whatever your doing.If your Online an a survey pops up it it gets X'd right out of existance!

May 21 2014 at 1:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment

One of the actual benefits of social networks and the data they are able to collect is the ability to target advertising. While recipients of ads are annoyed to receive offers for wares that is of no interest to them, it's equally true that advertisers are uninterested in dedicating marketing resources toward recipients who have no interest in their product. That time and money can be much better spent soliciting consumers that are legitimate prospective customers.

Similarly, while I may be uninterested in advertising from, for example, a local woman's shoe store, other ads might be desirable. If my local golf course wanted to offer me a discount on a round of golf, I'd be happy to receive such an offer.

May 21 2014 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alan Wallace

I don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the number or if the number is being withheld.
I don't answer the door just because someone knocks, and if I do answer the door and the person on the other side is someone I don't want to talk to, I say goodbye and close the door.
I record what I want to watch on TV, or turn the TV on and pause it while I do other things so that when I'm ready to watch, I can fast-forward through the commercials
I have not clicked on an Internet ad since the Internet was invented. I don't even look at them.
All of these annoyance-avoidance techniques are simple, foolproof and absolutely free. I guess I'm just not one of those people who will walk for thirty miles with a rock in my shoe, complaining about the pain. Just stop and take the rock out.

May 21 2014 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alan Wallace's comment

Too many scammers on the other end of the line. Recorded calls may trick you to hit a number or use another method to cost you a fortune. The telecommunication companies often let the third parties place charges an you get billed with your statement because they get a cut of the take! What a pain an you thought that calling card was letting you dial long distance on your dial up or cellphone! I had found its often some call center off shore ect that's billing the extra charge on your phone call made in the USA.

May 21 2014 at 1:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

There are too many advertisements on cable TV the Internet etc. If your paying for any service you shouldn't be paying for commercials. Commercials were meant to pay the broadcasting companies so they could broadcast their ads to their audiences. TV in England was paid TV.

Now that the job markets and middle class are in decline in the USA the users of services are becoming angry at rising costs and changing channels to avoid commericals. Many commericals turn people off, automatically signaling them to flip channels.

The medical product commercials are too numerous, the warnings of the products too complex,and most are by a doctors prescription only. A lot of commercials are just ads to get you to invest in a company even though they don't ask you to. They create jobs , right where?

May 21 2014 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply