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New Online Poll by Witeck-Combs Communications/Harris Interactive - Highlights Traits that Motivate Gay Purchasing Behaviors

Published 01-05-04

Submitted by Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc

ROCHESTER, NY - According to the most recent national consumer survey by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive(R), gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) individuals consider 'equal treatment' of gay employees in the workplace as the third or fourth most compelling reason (depending on the product) to favor one company over another when making purchase decisions.

The Witeck-Combs/Harris Interactive online survey asked respondents nationwide to identify the top reasons that mattered most to them in their buying preferences for several product categories including: banking, airlines, rental cars, discount retailers, audio electronics, automobiles, hotels, and personal computers and software.

All adults surveyed -- gay and non-gay consumers alike -- said that regardless of the product category, 'convenience' and 'friendly and welcoming customer service' were their top two answers in discriminating among companies -- when price, quality and function are alike.

The findings reveal that GLB consumers are similar to other shoppers in most basics. Like all consumers, they weigh price, quality, convenience and service as primary considerations. However, between one fourth (24%) and one third (37%) of gays, lesbians and bisexuals (depending on the product category), also affirm that 'equal treatment of all employees, including gays and lesbians, African Americans and Hispanics' ranked as their third or fourth highest priority.

The findings also show that another top reason affecting consumer preference (again, with the specific ranking dependent on each product category) was whether a company reached out to gays and lesbians through targeted advertising. Between 13% (hotel choices) and 29% (audio electronics choices) of all GLB respondents responded that targeted advertising to gays and lesbians was a specific reason for them to prefer one brand to another in these product categories.

"In the past few years, we have learned that buying behavior has common threads for gay and non-gay consumers alike," said Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications. "Gay men and lesbians consider the same factors as others do, but they now expect high standards of respect and equal inclusion in the market and workplace. Companies that understand these attitudes will successfully communicate their values and market their products to increasingly visible gay households."

These are a few highlights of a nationwide Witeck-Combs Communications/Harris Interactive study of 2,376 adults, of whom approximately seven percent (7%) self-identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual. The survey was conducted online between November 17 and 23, 2003 by Harris Interactive, a worldwide market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing
communications firm with special expertise in the GLB market.

To view detailed results tables, a description of the methodology and further information on the survey, please click Harris Interactive.

About Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.

Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc. (www.witeckcombs.com) is the nation's premier strategic marketing communications firm, specializing in reaching the gay and lesbian consumer market. With over nine years experience in this unique market, Witeck-Combs Communications has developed respected relationships throughout the community and serves as a bridge between corporate America and gay and lesbian consumers. In April 2003, American Demographics magazine identified Bob Witeck and Wes Combs as two of 25 experts over the last 25 years who have made significant contributions to the fields of demographics, market research, media and trendspotting for their pathbreaking work on the gay and lesbian market.

About Harris Interactive®

Harris Interactive (www.harrisinteractive.com) is a worldwide market research and consulting firm best known for The Harris Poll®, and for pioneering the Internet method to conduct scientifically accurate market research. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, U.S.A., Harris Interactive combines proprietary methodologies and technology with expertise in predictive, custom and strategic research. The Company conducts international research through wholly owned subsidiaries -London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com) and Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan - as well as through the Harris Interactive Global Network of local market- and opinion-research firms, and various U.S. offices. EOE M/F/D/V

To become a member of the Harris Poll OnlineSM and be invited to participate in future online surveys, visit www.harrispollonline.com.

Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc

Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc

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