The National Retail Federation (NRF) is cautiously optimistic in their prediction that “this year’s holiday sales will rise between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020, to between $843 billion and $859 billion. The trade group projects that “online and non-store sales”, which make up about a quarter of all sales, will rise even more; from 11% to 15% ($218 billion to 226 billion). The organization cited increases “in wages and household wealth as reasons behind the increase in holiday spending, but also said that a surge in COVID-19 infections could disrupt the projected rise in holiday spending” (RetailDive: 10/29/21)



Trust in the news has been “in a perpetual state of flux”. CivicScience tracking reported a high around the 2020 election, followed by a “nosedive shortly thereafter.” Then, by March of this year, just “50% of Americans reported trusting any news source at all.” Now, in their October 2021, CivicScience has seen a rebound, with 50% of adults trusting “at least one news source for unbiased information.” Among the news sources measured, Broadcast network and Local TV news are the most trusted, unbiased platforms, while digital-only news sites, regional/local newspapers, and social media posts are among the least trusted. The in-depth report also looks at differences across political identification, changes in news consumption, and the need to teach media literacy in K-12 schools (66% agree). CivicScience: 10/26/21)



TVRev asked their “Thought Leaders Circle”, their TV industry panel, for their thoughts on key measurement trends they’re seeing right now. Agency and vendor response includes a focus “on convergence and the move away from a one-size-fits-all response”, “thoughts about frequency capping”, “adapting to shifting consumer viewing behavior”, “the rise of contextual signals and greater standardization”, and “the future being multi-currency”. (TVRev: 10/28/21)



In this month’s Mediapost commentary, Broadbeam Media senior research analyst, James Flynn, describes research that showed that the Delta variant drove less consumer behavior change than previous waves. Comparing reported behavior when cases were high (11/20 – 2/21), when they were lower (3/21 – 6/21), and again when they were higher due to Delta, (mid-September 2021), the team asked questions about purchasing habits and intentions across hard-hit categories (e.g. bars/restaurants, travel, gyms) as well as those that were boosted (e.g. online grocery, home video entertainment). While COVID-19 “significantly drove consumer behavior for over a year”, “its current effect on purchasing is less drastic despite the rise in cases.” (Mediapost: 10/28/21)



With the holidays just around the corner, Good Morning America is highlighting big bargains on some of Oprah’s best picks over the past 25 years including gift sets, insulated drinkware, pet care items, gourmet ingredients, and more. Gift ideas start at $10 and prices are dramatically reduced through GMA’s Deals and Steals website. ( 11/2/21)