Magazine article Marketing

Ad Speculation Is Not a Substitute for Real Evidence

Magazine article Marketing

Ad Speculation Is Not a Substitute for Real Evidence

Article excerpt

For centuries death and taxes have been trotted out as life's great certainties. Now there are others. You can be absolutely certain that when either government or civilian spin doctors denounce a story as 'speculation', or the more modern version speculative, it is absolutely 1000% true and the press releases are being drawn up at that very moment.

The workers in Philips television factories in the north-east of England have indeed something serious to worry about now that reports of their likely closure have been described as speculative.

But an even greater verity is that somewhere in the world at any time someone will be trying to prove that advertising works - all of it. Any sensible person knows this is quite impossible and anyway doesn't seem to matter all that much, given the amount of money people seem prepared to spend without having proof.

The latest IPA attempt to scale the impossible peak and come out with a new general proof about how advertising works is both elegant and commendably honest.

The team led by Leslie Butterworth concedes that the linkages between advertising and commercial success "are more complex than we might have wished for ideally but they do at least have a real-world feel about them". This conclusion will come as a great joy to researchers of all kinds all over the world and the phrase should be quickly patented. Anyone who is unsure about how totally robust their findings are will be able to add quickly "but they have a real-world feel about them".

The IPA study involved plundering the PIMS database on 3000 companies. …

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