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Ross and Moyles win over youth with honest opinions

LONDON - Talkshow host Jonathan Ross and Radio 1's Chris Moyles are two media figures with the strongest credibility for the youth market, according to new research published today.

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The researched, commissioned by the Roar consortium, found that 15- to 24-year-olds thought that Ross and Moyles were credible figures because they are honest, with one of the youths interviewed saying: "They will actually say to someone your record is crap... and you can see that the person he's interviewing just doesn't know what to say cos they don't normally get treated like that."

Unveiled at today's DMA Target Youth conference, the research identified three distinct groups: opinion formers, the 12% of youths with a genuine passion for new technology who actively seek out new products and sounds; aspirants, the 23% who describe themselves as trendsetters, but who really only pick up on trends once they've been exposed in the media; and mainstreams, the majority of youths who lag behind and are less interested in new discoveries.

While the research found that foreign media sources, such as 'Sex and the City' and urban music channel MTV Base, were particularly influential among the aspirant group, these youths are equally influenced by smaller-scale local media such as U Channel.

Music programming does not only affect what artists youths admire, but also more general lifestyle trends such as clothing, technology and dance styles.

Opinion formers, by contrast, tend to have more of a focus on print media, reading quality newspapers and niche magazines that relate to their particular passion, as well as internet sites. They are less focused on brands than aspirants and more prepared to take risks and be creative.

Roar is a consortium researching the lives of youths in the UK to understand their media habits, lifestyles, attitudes and brand preferences. It is made up of Channel 4, The Guardian and Observer, Emap and OMD UK.

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