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UK viewers watching more adverts

The number of television adverts being watched has increased in the first half of 2008 on the same period last year.

Total "commercial impacts" - when someone watches an advert typically lasting 30 seconds at normal speed, were up by 6% in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2007, according to The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb).

Commercial impacts have also seen a 15% growth over the last five years.

Commercial broadcast viewing is up 4% on the same period last year and up 8.5% on the same period 10 years ago.

The UK watched an average of 2.34 hours of commercial TV a day during January to June 2008.

During this period, the UK watched 2.4 billion broadcast TV ads a day, an average of 42 per person.

Commercial impacts are also up for what are seen as key advertiser audiences, with those from the ABC1 group watching 9% more TV ads and the 16 to 34 age group 3% more.

The figures are published in television marketing body for commercial broadcasters Thinkbox's Half Year Review.

Thinkbox said they showed that the popularity of watching TV via broadcasters' web services - such as ITV.com, Sky Player and iPlayer seems to be incremental to the broadcast TV that people have always watched.

It said the growth of broadcast and online TV platforms underlines how they fulfil different needs for viewers and that they can promote each other.

Tess Alps, Thinkbox's chief executive said: "This is a shaft of very bright light that cuts through any economic gloom.

"Broadcast TV revenues held firm in the first half of 2008, and whatever the economic climate holds for the advertising market, I hope these figures will underline the great strength and resilience of commercial TV.