Magazine article Marketing

Good News in ITV Survey Can't Hide a Viewers' Droop

Magazine article Marketing

Good News in ITV Survey Can't Hide a Viewers' Droop

Article excerpt

It's nice to be able to point to a little good news for ITV for a change, instead of the usual stuff about terminal decline. The big news, courtesy of TSMS, Meridian and Taylor Nelson AGB, is that the ads actually do work. Consumers see ads for a particular product and, hallelujah, sales go up, even for the most mature brands, by as much as 6.2% within 14 days. And people who have seen several ads buy more than those who have only seen one. What is more, primetime, which naturally costs more, just happens to work better than off-peak.

If such reputable groups had not been involved the temptation to cry 'fix' might have been overwhelming. It's as if the ITV bosses have managed to get proof, at last, for all their fond fantasies. Advertising, for goodness sake, really does seem to work, and you can virtually prove it.

It was brave of TSMS chief executive Jerry Hill to get involved in a [pounds]750,000 project to link SuperPanel grocery sales with detailed television ratings - although they just recorded what TV channel the set was switched to rather than what anyone was watching. Just think of the risk if the results had gone the other way or been a shade more ambiguous: [pounds]750,000 would have been spent on proving that Lord Leverhulme was wrong after all - not even half of the ads work.

Luckily there was a contingency plan. If the research had come up with unfortunate results which couldn't be tweaked, they would have been encased in concrete and dumped in one of the deepest parts of the North Sea. …

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