The world's biggest advertiser, the US-based consumer goods titan Procter & Gamble, wants to know whether its marketing dollars are well-spent.

To this end it is calling on other big brands to join the proposed Project Apollo, under the direction of US market researchers Arbitron and Dutch-owned media and information giant VNU [WAMN 01-Oct-04].

The $100 million (€74m, £51m) enterprise, to measure advertising effectiveness, will study thousands of consumers to discover where they are best reached and which products they buy.

P&G will work closely with the research partners to ensure their approach is relevant and wants fellow big ad spenders to sign up for the service in order to offset the start-up costs.

Says Bernhard Glock, P&G's manager for global media and communications: "The costs are significant. It requires a group action. That's why we have opened up and embraced other advertisers in this initiative."

The technology involved in the project would include a portable tracking device to gauge media consumption and a scanner to allow consumers to record purchases.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff