Advertising and profitability: the long-term returns

Marilyn Baxter combines data from the PIMS database and the IPA Data Bank to show how adspend can drive profitability - even through recession


IT IS ALMOST  ten years since the IPA first addressed the thorny issue of how to measure the long-term effects of advertising. Prompted by Messrs Broadbent, Feldwick and King, the IPA's The Longer and Broader Effects of Advertising (1) collected the then current thinking from the luminaries of the time, under the editorship of Chris Baker.

In his introduction, Chris pointed to the relative lack of work that had been done to date to evaluate the longer-term and more strategic effects of advertising on the building of valuable brands, on customer loyalty and on company profitability. Whereas his remarks condemning the short-termism of British business might easily have been written yesterday, it is pleasing to note that the intention behind this publication and the simultaneous introduction of the 'Longer and Broader' category in the Advertising Effectiveness Awards, has been very much realised. We do now have a number of general studies and specific cases that articulate and evaluate the longer-term effects of advertising.