LONDON: Multimedia advertising campaigns declined in effectiveness during the first half of this year, a new international study has found.

The Fournaise Marketing Group, a specialist in tracking ROI, monitored cross-channel campaigns run in 20 countries on behalf of large firms, small-and-medium-sized enterprises and agencies.

It reported that customer response and engagement levels fell by 19% in the first half of 2011 when compared with the opening six months of 2010.

"At a time when CEOs and stakeholders are asking marketing [departments] to achieve better results and a better marketing ROI to get more customer demand, a 19% decrease in advertising response is alarming," said Jerome Fontaine, CEO of Fournaise.

More specifically, this total declined by 23% in mature regions such as Australia, the US and Western Europe, measured against a 16% drop in emerging geographies like China and Southeast Asia.

Among consumer-facing brands, figures tumbled by 20% on an annual basis, while business-to-business ad campaigns posted an 18% slide.

Online ads also witnessed a 25% dip in terms of eliciting the desired response from internet users, including a 26% contraction for display formats and a 35% decrease concerning sponsorship.

The global economic situation was argued to be a primary factor encouraging such trends, meaning shoppers and businesses are more prudent and less receptive to marketing messages.

Equally, however, the overall appeal, value proposition and relevance in advertising also failed to resonate with the target audience in a majority of cases, according to the Fournaise Marketing Group.

Indeed, marketers placed too much emphasis on building awareness through perceived "creativity" and new media, instead of adopting a "pragmatic" approach and focusing on customer benefits and their own competitive strengths.

Data sourced from The Fournaise Marketing Group; additional content by Warc staff