Flyer Ads is twice as effective

Advertising in print is twice as effective as TV, says Microsoft

Alexi Mostrous, Media Editor
From The Times - December 28, 2009

Print advertising is more than twice as effective as television advertising for large retailers, according to new data seen by The Times.

Every £1 spent on print advertisements yields £5 in revenue, compared with £2.15 for television and £3.44 for online advertising, a study of 26 leading UK retailers found.

The anonymous participants of the study, which was carried out by Microsoft Advertising, included large clothing stores, big grocery retailers, fashion retailers and department stores.

Of the firms surveyed, 24 were in the top 100 UK companies in terms of media spend. The study recommended retailers increased online and print advertising budgets by 10 per cent and decreased television budgets by that amount.

"Print is very good for targeting specific audiences and getting eyeballs on key products," said Joel Dawson, head of online marketing at Boots. "But the smarter businesses are integrating digital advertising into the planning process."

Of television advertising, Mr Dawson said: "It works very well for us in terms of reach and frequency."

The study comes as online advertising is rising and predicted to rise further. In October, Diageo doubled its online marketing budget for Smirnoff vodka, targeting online adverts and social networking sites.

Deloitte, the professional services firm, forecast that online advertising's global share would grow from its current 10 per cent to 15 per cent by 2012.

Although online advertising spending fell roughly 5 per cent worldwide during the recession, Deloitte said that "this was still a much smaller decline than almost any other advertising category".

The findings of Microsoft's survey run counter to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2007. That looked at ten years of data for more than 700 brands in seven different market sectors. It showed that television advertising delivered £4.50 for every pound spent and that campaigns using the medium were 25 per cent more effective than those which did not.

Tess Alps, chief executive of Thinkbox, a television marketing body, said the Microsoft data was inconsistent with much bigger studies.

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