Call it the couch potatoes’ revenge, but millions of DVR remote controls are in the hands of television viewers, and they are using them to make commercial messages disappear.

The "2006 Media, Advertising and Brands Survey" from Roper Consulting, a division of Gfk NOP, found that among DVD owners, 65% of men skipped through commercials and 56% of women fast-forwarded through the ads — in both cases, a clear majority of viewers.

The findings signal a sharp increase from last year’s survey, which showed that 21% of male and 10% of female DVR owners said they used the technology to skip commercials.

In both surveys, however, women were less likely than men to zap.

One-fifth of the women DVRers said they don’t mind watching commercials — and as a result tend not to skip them — but 18% said that while they let the commercials run, they ignore them.

"They might use that time to do something around the house…maybe make a quick phone call," John Bishop of Roper Consulting told Advertising Age. "Maybe they are reading a magazine, multi-tasking, doing more things at once, where men just compartmentalize and probably just [are] only watching TV."

A different take on the matter comes from David Hallerman, an eMarketer senior analyst. "Other research shows that men multitask at about the same rate as women," he said. "However, men tend to like to play with gadgets more than most women do. That’s another, more likely reason why a greater share of men than women use technology to zap commercials. It’s much like dominating the remote."

More here.