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Global Media Costs > Definitions & Methodology

The purpose of Warc's global media cost comparison is to provide information in a standardised, summarised, comparable format, which will help the user determine a broad estimate of a brand's likely cost of communicating its marketing message. It should not be used to calculate the definitive price of any specific campaign; its role is merely to provide an indication.

Media expenditure, whether at the brand, product category, advertiser or media sector level, can be measured with reasonable precision in many markets. A number of monitoring companies provide this data on a regular basis to advertisers, agencies and the media. On the other hand, reliable media cost information, based on a combination of both media expenditure and audience delivery data, is far harder to come by. What an advertiser ideally wants to know is the likely cost of buying a typical media schedule for a brand(s). The problem is of course that what represents a 'typical schedule' for one brand or advertiser will be very different to that for another. For example, TV costs can vary due to a large number of factors: channel mix, daypart mix, flighting, seasonality etc as well as the negotiating power of the agency or advertiser. So the cost of one advertiser's typical schedule can be very different from another's. And, of course, the nature of a typical schedule will vary from market to market.

One factor that has been taken out of the mix is commercial length. Almost all TV cost data here are based on a 30-second commercial length, and other standardized formats have been used for other media.

Television 30 seconds
Newspapers A4, black and white
Magazines Page Colour
Radio 30 seconds
Out of home Various
Cinema 30 seconds
Internet Banner 468x60

There will also be differences between countries in the precise definition of the target audience – and this will depend primarily on the way in which these groups are defined in the local media research surveys. For example, in some cases, the 'adult' definition refers to all individuals aged over 18, in others this might be 15, 12 or even 10. For the other global media cost comparison audiences there will also be country-by-country variations – and in the case of businessmen, where the data exist, each country has its own distinctive definition.

Survey methodology & definitions

The global media cost data have been provided by the global media agency group, OMD. Data are collated from an annual survey.

Media covered: TV, newspapers, magazines, radio, out of home, cinema and internet.

It should be noted that coverage varies according to market.

Data for out of home have only been included since 2008. Unlike other media, there is an absence of standardisation in outdoor panel sizes which makes any comparison between countries potentially misleading. Therefore, care must be taken when making comparisons.

Internet data have been included since 2006, but coverage is limited.

Target audiences: adults, men, women, main shoppers, kids, young adults, upmarket adults and businessmen.

It should be noted that coverage varies according to market.

The costs shown are after the deduction of negotiated discounts, but before the deduction of agency commission. The cost per hundred GRP (Gross Rating Point) figures have been calculated by multiplying the cost per thousand figures by the relevant universe (population). The conversions from local currency to US$ have been carried out using annual average exchange rates for the year.