Nonvertising: The $10 Billion Throwaway

Stan Rapp

Over the past 40 years, in a marketing world with the only constant being constant change, one thing remains the same: the continued waste of good money poured into bad advertising.

Looking at the US alone, by my calculation, last year's non-communication total comes to $10 billion. How could anyone in his or her right mind throw away all those billions? There is no easy answer to why at least 60% of the $18 billion spent by US advertisers resulted in mostly invisible and inconsequential messaging.

What's going on here?

My explanation for this bizarre behaviour is a fascination with what is best described as Nonvertising. Blind-minded ad agencies lead blind-minded marketing directors down the blind alley of unaccountable advertising. Now and then, the alley twists and turns to reach paydirt  but all too often marketers hit a stonewall.