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Research At UI Studied Ad Placement

Companies pay top dollar to place advertisements in "premium" spots in the middle of magazine articles and TV shows. But that system may be inherently flawed, according to the September issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. In three studies asking undergrads to read short stories interspersed with ads, researchers from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA'S HENRY B. TIPPIE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS found that the more the students were absorbed in the narrative flow of a story, the more likely they were to resent the ads that disrupted it, especially when the ads were relevant to the reader. In a twist, though, when those same ads were placed at the end of the stories, students projected positive feelings about the article they'd just read onto the products being advertised.

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