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Maybe - Just Maybe Advertising Will Start To Become A Reality Show!

Paul Ashby

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And start telling the truth for once.

Robert Shaw, Professor of Marketing Metrics recently said “Advertising is a zero-sum competitive game, strong advertisers grow at the expense of weak ones, stealing customers from the weak. . . as many campaigns showing negative performance as there are positive".

So now we can drop the 30 year old (and more) gossip (because that's what it is. . . merely gossip) about “Advertising works" because it is a zero sum game.

At the risk of putting myself in a majority of one I agree with Professor Robert Shaw, Advertising is never cost effective. Perhaps we can now get on with developing superior methods of marketing communication?

The President of the IPA, in his inaugural address presented “evidence" that advertising contributed £160 bn a year in added value to the economy. I'm afraid that he argues in vain. . . and inaccurately at that!

His statement could be laughably ignored if it wasn't so grossly inaccurate and misleading.

Put simply advertising does not have any connection with the success or failure of a product or service that is of course, if you do not count a horrible waste of money a connection!

Advertising is supposed to be totally accountable, research has never been initiated to establish the sole effectiveness of advertising on sales. . . I think that it is a no-brainer why such research has never been conducted!

Instead advertising has become a reality show where the Judge is The President of the IPA and is allowed to quote such outrageously inaccurate statements!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are given more misleading and confusing facts about the effectiveness, or otherwise, of advertising.

"Celebrity endorsements pay off as Supermarkets lift ad. spend" screams one headline. Whilst another headline screamed “M & S gloom hits the high street for £5 bn. "

It appears that M&S had £5 bn wiped off the share value of High Street stores. The Group reported a 2.2% fall in the final quarter of the year, with clothing sales down 3.2% and food down 1.5%.

This was despite widely acclaimed advertising for fashion, featuring models Laura Bailey, Erin O'Connor & Twiggy, and film star Antonio Banderas. Now perhaps advertising agencies don't consider Laura Bailey et al celebrities, so then they have an excuse for their failure!

It was the first drop in sales for more than two years - need we say more!

The Estate of Business pays large sums of money to the Estate of Advertising. Advertising Agencies tend to prescribe remedies that lie within their own competence. Advertising is about perceptions not substance. Advertising majors in inspiration and creativity together with novelty.

They are supposed to deliver sales. As M&S have discovered, afterwards comes the cynicism, together with the disappointment. No. . . advertising does just not deliver sales. . . any more!

Having invested over $10 million in independent research, Paul Ashby is ideally suited to present the case for the widespread use of interactive marketing communication. The research investment has proved conclusively that one exposure to an interactive “event" is far more effective in all key measurements, than traditional advertising. Paul made this investment because his company, Effective. Accountable. Communication is predicated on being totally accountable to its Clients. Discover more on


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