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Age, gender and educational level all play a role in whether a consumer will more inclined to seek out bargains from online ads or print ads, according to a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll survey.

In general, the survey found that newspaper and magazine ads are considered the best place to find bargains by nearly one-fourth of adult Americans surveyed in the poll. That compares with just under one in five, or 18%, who say online advertisements are most likely to help them find bargains.

In terms of other sources, more than one in 10 each say direct mail and catalogs (12%) and TV commercials (11%) are where they look,? while just 2% say radio, the research found.

One-third of Americans (34%) believe the type of ad makes no difference when looking for the best bargain.

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Age and Gender

These preferences, however, shift when age, gender and education are taken into account, Harris Interactive said.

Online ads appeal most to people under age 45 and to college graduates, the survey found. People between ages 18-34 are more likely to say online ads (22%) and TV commercials (17%) are the best places to find bargains, while those ages 35-44 go online (26%). The older a person is, the more likely he or she is to use newspaper and magazine ads, as 24% of those ages 44-54 and one-third of those ages 55+ (33%) say those media are most likely to help them find the best bargain.

In terms of gender, women are more likely than men to say newspaper and magazine ads (24% vs. 22% of men) and direct mail and catalogs (14% vs. 11% of men) are more likely to help them find a bargain. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to say online advertisements are more likely to help them find a bargain (21% vs. 16% of women).

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Education’s Role

Education also plays a role in the type of media to which consumers gravitate when seeking bargains: One-fourth of those with a high-school education or less (25%) say newspaper and magazine ads are more likely to help them find a bargain compared with 20% of those with at least a college degree. Three in 10 of those with at least a college degree (29%) believe online advertisements are more likely to help them find a bargain compared with 12% of those with a high school education or less who say the same.

About the survey: This Adweek Media/Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between December 14 and 16, 2009 among 2,136 adults (aged 18 and over).

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