A Revitalized Corporate Advertising Industry Advances Toward the Millennium

James R. Gregory
Corporate Branding Partnership, LLC

As few as ten years ago, advertising budgets hit one of the lowest levels in history. In the late 1980s, the advertising industry grew at a slower rate than the economy, and by the recession year of 1991, investment in corporate communications had fallen significantly. However, as the '90s progressed, the industry rebounded and a new advertising age was born.

While all facets of advertising were on the rise during the early 1990s a 1994 ANA study indicated that corporate advertising – advertising designed to support and/or promote a specific corporate message – may have rebounded even faster than the advertising industry as a whole. A new study shows even further strides have been taken over the past three years.

To determine the direction of corporate advertising in 1997, my organization, Corporate Branding Partnership, along with The Wall Street Journal and the ANA, surveyed ANA member companies corporate advertising efforts. In order to determine how far the industry has progressed, we asked senior management questions ranging from how much money is being spent and what it is being spent on to how communicators benchmark their success or failure.