The medium and the message – the comparative study of print and tv copy testing practices amog major advertisers and agencies.

This is the introduction to a very unusual study. A publisher, G+J USA, has investigated advertiser and agency use of copy testing for print. It is part of their larger commitment to work with the industry to help develop reliable systems for improving the effectiveness of print advertising. It is unusual because media sellers do very little for advertisers on the hard questions. They don’t worry about when or whether the advertising they carry is effective. They pocket the money and don’t leave a phone number. For all their protests, that is how a commodity sells.
And because sales results are far less than certain, advertisers can’t manage their advertising dollars the way they manage other spending. One purchasing manager told us “It’s like buying a $50-million melon. We have to spend the money to find out if it’s going to be any good.â€?
As obvious as they seem, these are new ideas. They have been championed by the work of MPA, Millward Brown and Nielsen in print, and John Jones, Colin McDonald and Michael von Gonten in TV. All find the effects of strong advertising messages are immediate and evident. This new focus on advertising as a selling tool makes the development of sales-effective messages a priority.

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