Survey: Ads better than fees
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Sep 21, 2000
Public Opinion Strategies National Survey
Americans would rather see advertising on government Web sites than be charged
convenience fees, according to a national survey just released.
Fifty-six percent of registered voters in the survey released by eGovNet,
a Columbus, Ohio-based e-government and advertising network provider, supported
the use of "appropriate" advertising while 23 percent said they'd rather
pay user fees for government Internet services. "Appropriate" was defined
as ads of goods and services legally available to users of all ages.
The random, national telephone survey of 642 voters, conducted by Public
Opinion Strategies from Sept. 5 to 10, tried to measure the attitudes of
users "about funding e-government initiatives with advertising on government
Web sites, convenience or user fees and with tax dollars." Of those surveyed,
60 percent said they access the Internet or send and receive e-mail.
"The bottom line is there is a real demand for e-government services.
Then the question always becomes, If we're going to provide for these services,
how are we going to pay for it?" said Jon Allison, eGovNet's director of
professional licensure services and the coordinator of the survey.
Although a "very small number" of governments are actually doing it,
Allison said advertising on government sites is a viable, alternative-funding
method. The survey also found that:
* Two-thirds of the voters surveyed who go online support advertising
on government Web sites rather than paying a user fee.
* Given a choice, 47 percent of all respondents said governments should
charge convenience fees rather than using tax dollars for online services.
Twenty-eight percent supported tax-dollar use.
* More than 60 percent of all respondents agreed that it's okay for
governments to use advertising to reduce the amount of tax dollars needed
to provide online services.
* Sixty-six percent of all respondents said government decisions to
allow such ads make no difference in their willingness to use online services.