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1 December 2004

New research from TNS' Kids Omnibus reveals a significant gap between what children want for Christmas and what their parents are likely to buy them.

Among more than 1,000 children interviewed for the study, the top five electronic gifts* kids were most keen to receive were film DVDs (32 per cent of children), Gameboy Advance SP (28 per cent), Gameboy games (27 per cent), music CDs (26 per cent) and an iPod (25 per cent). Boys are more interested in receiving gaming presents, while girls mainly hope for music and film gifts.

Yet, while children were likely to receive DVDs and CDs from parents, the TNS research shows a disconnect between many items which kids' hoped for and what they are actually likely to receive from their parents at Christmas. Just nine per cent of parents were considering buying an iPod for their children and just eight per cent had plans to buy a Gameboy Advance SP.

Top ten most wanted electronic gifts*

What kids say they really want for Christmas / What parents might buy kids for Christmas

Film DVD - 32% / 51%

Gameboy Advance SP - 28% / 8%

Gameboy games - 27% / 11%

Music CDs - 26% / 42%

Ipod - 25% / 9%

A computer (PC) - 24% / 8%

PC games - 24% / 24%

X-Box - 22% / 6%

Silver Sony PS2 - 22% / 7%

DVD player - 17% / 12%

*1008 children aged 8-14 were asked in TNS's online omnibus survey to say which gifts they would most like to receive at Christmas from a list of 15 electronic items. In addition to the ten listed in the table below, these were Nintendo Gamecube, Sony Discman/portable CD player, CD player/music system, film videos.

While sales of electronic gifts have increased in recent years, traditional board games have shown the largest increase in sales since 2001, increasing from 2.2 million to 4.5 million gifts purchased for Christmas 2003.

In recent years, volume sales of the Christmas gift market as a whole has steadily increased but the total amount spent has remained stable. The toys and games gift market for example has shown strong volume growth, up 10 per cent since Christmas 2001 to 51.8 million gifts. Yet, the market value has increased by just two per cent over this time period to £1.7 billion.

Last year, the average amount spent per gift fell by more than a pound to £26.47 - the first fall since TNS started monitoring gift purchases in 1994.

Sue Homeyard, Group Director of Omnibus services at TNS, comments: "We are seeing an interesting change in the Christmas gift market as a result of increased retailer competition and greater consumer demands which are driving down prices. A major factor in this has been the enhanced buying power and product offering of supermarkets which has put more pressure on high street retailers to bring their prices in line, particularly on items such as CDs, books and electrical goods.

"This marked change in the market is positive news for the consumer. However, with 40 per cent of all gifts bought in the last two weeks before Christmas, it does put more pressure on retailers to ensure their special offers and deals hit the mark if they are to enjoy healthy profits in the New Year."


About TNS' Kids Omnibus surveys

TNS offers both online and face to face regular children omnibus surveys, covering the 8-19 age spectrum.

About TNS

TNS is a leading global provider of market information. We collect, analyse and interpret information to help our clients better understand the needs and wants of their customers. We provide research, advice and insight on market segmentation, advertising and communications, new product development, brand performance and stakeholder management. We are also one of the leading providers of social and political polling.

From our global network, which spans 70 countries, we provide local expertise and knowledge, together with internationally consistent information and analysis to multi-national organisations. Further information on TNS can be found on

For more information please contact:

Rachel Argyle, Senior UK PR Executive, TNS

Tel: 020 8967 1415 / 07903 556 365 or email:

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