Large advertisers are thinking about cutting back on their TV ad campaigns in the UK because viewers of digital channels are using their sets for interactive services rather than watching the ad breaks.
Abbey national said it would cut back on TV advertising as a result of the increase in viewers choosing pay-TV digital services over free terrestrial channels.
The company is said to have been swayed by an experiment which filmed people repeatedly ignoring screen ads, and using their TVs to shop, bank and send emails.
A further sample of 1,000 internet and interactive TV users showed 30 per cent watched fewer ads on digital TV than on analogue TV.
The trial was run by consumer trend company the Henley Centre and was taken from 200 hours of filming. It is likely to add fuel to the debate on the impact of interactive TV on advertising, which make up the majority of broadcasters' funding. Use of the internet is already said to have impacted TV audiences