Americans and Valentine's Day

65% Have Something In Mind For That Special Day While 77% Aren't Certain With The Origin Of Valentine's Day, 82% Of Americans Would Appreciate A Token Gift Or Card Even To Be In The Dog House May Be A Good Thing As 15% Of Pet Owners Say They'll Buy A Valentine Gift For Their Pet

Philadelphia, Feb. 13, 2002 - While 72% of Americans don't know the origin of Valentine's Day, a full 82% of Americans would appreciate a token gift or card given to them from someone they know. Interestingly, 15% of pet owners also intend to buy a Valentine gift for their pet this year. Also, 65% of Americans normally plan special activities for that special day (such as going out to dinner or staying home for romance) - whereas one-third (35%) do not plan on doing anything special.

These are the findings from Lavalife's(TM)Valentine's Day Poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid in conjunction with Mansfield Communications between January 11 and January 21, 2002. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 2,000 adult Amercians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within 177 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult US population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. Results are statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional age and gender composition reflects that of the actual American population according to 2000 US Census data.

When asked if they were "100% certain" of the origin of Valentine's Day, 27% of Americans indicated that they were - 30% of women versus 24% of men - with a full 72% saying that they don't know the origin.

However, it's clear that while they don't know where the day came from, they normally engage in activity that makes the day special - at least for two-thirds of Americans.

Americans volunteered that they normally engage in a variety of activities on Valentine's Day - with 65% indicating that they participate in activities ranging from going out to dinner (35%) to having a romantic dinner at home (14%), to getting together with friends (11%) to going to a movie (8%). While this group plans on being active, another 35% of Americans indicate that they don't engage in anything special.

In the biggest category of going out to dinner (35%) more men (37%) than women (33%) are headed out and younger (18-34, 40%) and middle aged (35-54, 38%) are more likely to eat out than those over 55 years of age (27%). Those stealing away for a romantic dinner at home (14%) again are more likely to be men (15%) versus women (12%) and younger (16%) and middle aged (14%). When it comes to getting together with friends (11%) more women (13%) than men (8%) normally do so on Valentine's Day.

For those who indicate that they don't normally engage in anything special during Valentine's Day and that life goes on as usual (35%) there are more likely to be women (38%) than men (33%) and more likely to be older 55 plus (46%) and earning under $25,000 a year (40%).

All Americans might not know the origin of Valentine's Day eight-in-ten (82%) would appreciate a token gift or card (90% of women versus 73% of men). In fact, only 18% polled said that they would not appreciate a token gift or card - 27% of men and 22% of those over 55 being the least responsive to this overture.

Results from the survey also show that being in the "dog house" may not be such a bad thing this Valentines as 15% of American pet owners plan to buy a gift for their beloved pets this year. And, two-in-ten (22%) of those respondents plan to spend more on their pet than their significant other.

And how much are pet owners planning to spend on their pet? Results from the survey found that half (51%) of those who are planning to buy a gift for their pet will spend between five and 10 dollars, while almost a quarter (23%) will spend between $11 and $25.

And if you are single or never married (23%) activity normal for Valentine's Day is nothing special - life as usual for 42% of single folks. Singles are almost as active on Valentine's Day as couples. For 28%, they normally head out to dinner, or get together with friends (16%) or have a romantic dinner at home (9%) in fact 1% say that they "take a box of tissues and eat bonbons like there's no tomorrow".

As well, many singles may be getting a card or gift. Asked specifically if Americans would buy a Valentine gift or card for a single friend to commemorate the day, 41% indicated that they would - in particular 56% of single folks said they would. And just as much as other people, 86% of single people indicated that they would appreciate a token gift or card given to them from anyone they know. Fifteen percent (15%) of US pet owners indicate that they will be buying a Valentine gift for their pet, this comprises 11% of married pet owners and 20% being single pet owners.

To view the complete release, please download the attached PDF file.

-30- For more information on this news release, please contact: Thom Riehle President & CEO US Public Affairs Ipsos-Reid (202) 463-7300


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