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Synovate reveals significant hidden audiences with Media Atlas


22 September 2006 - KUALA LUMPUR — Synovate, a global market intelligence company, today revealed the first full year results of the Media Atlas survey, shedding new light on media consumption, lifestyles and attitudes in Malaysia.

Synovate Managing Director for Malaysia Steve Murphy, said Media Atlas was launched in response to the media and advertising industries’ need for a more accurate reading on the media consumption and lifestyles of the Malaysian population.

“Media Atlas has revealed significant hidden audiences - people with clout, spending power and who shape trends. We looked at their media consumption habits, lifestyles and attitudes and found previously unexplored insights. Publishers will be happy to know that a more accurate representation of the Malaysian population translates into higher readership figures - long a contentious issue,” he said.

The first full year of Media Atlas data is now available to subscribers. It covers 10,000 consumers from every strata of society across Peninsular Malaysia.

“Healthy competition always improves quality and brings down the cost. We are pleased to see that we have lived up to the challenge,” Mr. Murphy said.

Synovate Global Head of Media Steve Garton, said the reason the survey was breaking new ground was its different approach to reaching the full population.

"Prior to Synovate’s Media Atlas, the industry had been using results from a traditional methodology of only face-to-face interviews which we believe does not fully address the changing lifestyles of Malaysian consumers.

"The difference is practical science. Our mixed approach - a combination of computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) and face-to-face interviews - allows a full and accurate representation of the entire society.

“In fact, our approach is similar to the way advertisers do their media plans. That is, by utilising various media channels they try to maximise their reach to consumers. Similarly, we are utilising two interviewing methods to effectively reach every cluster of society,” he said.

Mr Garton also pointed out that a recent survey conducted by ESOMAR - the global market research association - supported the Media Atlas approach, finding telephone interviews the most popular way of reaching consumers across the world. The report said that “face-to-face interviews have dramatically decreased... (and) telephone interviews (are) the most popular data collection method...”

"Telephone interviews are an effective method to bypass the physical security barriers which a large number of residents live behind.

“For instance, 80% of homes in the capital have security measures to prevent unwanted visitors and this phenomenon is spread across all Peninsular Malaysia - even in rural areas where middle class homes are to be found. Indeed, it is becoming more and more difficult to reach Asia’s growing middle classes living in secured premises via face-to-face interviews,” he said.

Mr. Garton also said Synovate’s ’practical science’ is already used in several markets in Asia, with Media Atlas already present in Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

About the respondents

The income distribution seen emphasises the large middle class in Peninsular Malaysia:

* 8% with monthly household income (MHHI) less than RM 500
* 20% with MHHI of RM 500-1,000
* 30% with MHHI of RM 1,000-2,000
* 17% with MHHI of RM 2,000–3,000
* 15% with MHHI of RM 3,000-5,000
* 8% with MHHI of RM 5,000+

* 21% have completed primary and below
* 61% have completed secondary school
* 17% have completed university

What did we find?

About media consumption

* 32% of the population read any Malay daily
* 19% read any Chinese daily
* 14% read any English daily
* Some examples of readership and viewership:
o The New Straits Times: 494,000 average issue readership (AIR)
o Oriental Daily News: 183,000 AIR
o Star: 1,456,000 AIR
o Reader’s Digest: 447,000 (English)
o Astro: 38% watched an Astro channel during the last 7 days; 51% in market centres

About product ownership within household

* 20% have access to the internet from one or more locations
* 90% have a washing machine
* 75% have a VCD player
* 67% have a mobile phone
* 66% have a car
* 43% have a CD player
* 33% have a desktop PC
* 18% have a digital camera

About finances

* 28% have insurance
* 15% have a housing loan
* 13% have a credit card

About attitudes

Respondents were asked if they agreed with a variety of statements. The results for those saying they agree or agree very much are:

* 72% agree with ’I am interested in what my parents say’ - men and women see eye to eye on this
* 67% like a lot of variety in their lives
* More men like to try new things versus women, at 62% and 56% respectively
* Social status is important for 45% of respondents
* 31% of men agree they prefer to be leaders rather than followers - the number was 22% for women
* If pressed for time, 44% would simply choose the brand they trust
* 57% are prepared to pay extra for quality because it’s worthwhile
* 48% like looking through the adverts in magazines to see what they say
* 66% agree that married life is better than single... and 73% agree in the future role of the family
* Pressure on leisure time is very real - half say they are prepared to sacrifice time for career advancement, and one fifth says their lives are now very stressful
* 48% say they believe in exercise even though they don’t enjoy it. 57% of men engage in sport to keep fit, versus just 45% of women
* Eight in 10 claim to eat healthy food

About Synovate

Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 5,500 staff in 108 cities across 50 countries.

For more information on Synovate visit


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