Need help? WARC has a dedicated team who are on-hand to assist with any queries you may have.
The User Guide details key content, tools and functionality, covering:
- Searching and search tools
- Navigation and key content areas
- Saving items for later use
- Registering for email updates
- Contacting us for further help
*The User Guide for Universities excludes certain elements of personalised functionality (such as Saved Items) that require individual login details, rather than shared access systems generally used by business schools and universities. University account administrators wishing to discuss alternative access options to enable this functionality for students and faculty staff should contact their Client Services Manager.
- What content will I find on WARC?
- Where do you get your content from?
- How often do you add new content to warc.com?
- Can I suggest which Topics WARC should cover?
- How often are WARC data/statistics sections updated?
- How can I ensure delivery of WARC emails?
- Where are my Saved Items?
- How is my privacy protected?
- How do I update my details and preferences?
- What is WARC Plus and how do I add this to my subscription?
- Can I see how many downloads I have made?
- Can I share links to WARC articles with non-WARC subscribers?
- How can I change my account information?
- I've forgotten my personal login details. How do I retrieve them?
- Where is my security PIN?
- How can I check to see if my company subscribes to WARC and, if so, get my login details?
Q. What content will I find on WARC?
A. WARC is the world's premier information resource for marketing, advertising and communications professionals, with more than 50,000 papers, case studies and news stories covering all major advertising markets. We have material on all aspects of communications from award-winning case studies to cutting-edge think pieces and conference reports, academic papers and respected adspend forecasts.
Q. Where do you get your content from?
A. WARC content comes from several sources.
WARC's dedicated researchers and correspondents around the world produce much of our content.
We also showcase content from over 50 leading partners worldwide. For further information, browse a full list of WARC Partners.
If you believe you have content which could be published on WARC, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How often do you add new content to warc.com?
A. We continually add to and update our material via work commissioned for warc.com, our own publications and content from our partnerships. To stay up to date with new content, sign up for our WARC Editors' Newsletter via the Email Updates section of Your WARC.
You can sign up for email updates to any Topic Page by selecting this subject in the Your Topics section in Your WARC.
Q. Can I suggest which Topics WARC should cover?
A. We would welcome any suggestions on making the site better! If there is a topic you would like to suggest, please send your feedback to email@example.com.
Q. How often are WARC data/statistics sections updated?
Q. How can I ensure delivery of WARC emails?
A. Some email programs require users to add email senders to their 'safe senders' list to guarantee messages are not wrongly intercepted by spam filters. Instructions for resolving this issue can be found here.
Q. Where are my Saved Items?
A. Saved Items are here. They can also be accessed from the Your WARC menu or from the footer.
Q. How is my privacy protected?
A. WARC respects the privacy of our online visitors, and only gathers personally identifiable data, such as names, addresses, and e-mail addresses, when these are voluntarily submitted by the visitor. You can find full privacy information on our Terms & conditions page.
Q. How do I update my details and preferences?
A. The Your WARC section, found on the right-hand side of the navigation links at the top of the screen, allows users to manage their personal preferences in one place. For more, see our User Guide below.
Q. What is WARC Plus and how do I add this to my subscription?
A. WARC Plus is a premium service which allows users to ask the WARC research team any question on marketing, advertising or communications and receive a full briefing and list of suggested reading back within 24 hours. The resource is primarily for people who are under time pressure or who otherwise need the most relevant research as soon as possible. Find out more about WARC Plus here.
Q. Can I see how many downloads I have made?
A. Any user can check this by contacting their Client Services Manager.
Q. Can I share links to WARC articles with non-WARC subscribers?
A.You can share all of the free content on the site – such as news stories and posts on the WARC Blog – with others, for example by sending links to them. Likewise, you can share links to papers, videos and charts only accessible to subscribers via the "share" button at the top of every article (this offers a range of sharing tools such as email, bookmarks and social media sites).
But content shared via such services would only be viewable by other subscribers. You are not permitted to share subscriber-only WARC content with non-subscribers, for example by cutting and pasting papers or charts. (See our Terms & conditions).
Q. How can I change my account information?
A. All account information can be accessed and amended by choosing Your WARC on the navigation menu found at the top of the page.
Q. I've forgotten my password. How do I reset it?
A. Visit the Reset Password page and follow the instructions. A link to this can also be found on the Log In page.
Q. Where is my security PIN?
A. When requested, your PIN will be sent automatically to the email address you used to register on warc.com. If you have not received the PIN within a couple of minutes, please check your junk/spam folder. (Instructions for making sure WARC emails do not go into the junk/spam folder can be found here.) If you still cannot find your PIN, please contact your Client Services Manager.
Q. How can I check to see if my company subscribes to WARC and, if so, get my login details?
A. You can check this here.
Basic word searches
WARC's search engine automatically searches by default across the titles, subject tags, main text, summaries and authors of all documents. Results are returned by relevance: i.e. the documents that match your search term most closely are returned first.
The search engine prioritises those documents that match all of your search words. After these, or when it is unable to match all your search terms, it returns those that best match as many of your search terms as possible.
Exact phrase searches
If you want to search for documents that contain a specific phrase, enter the phrase in "double quotes".
Reordering and refining search results
Search results can be reordered by date (newest first or oldest first) by clicking on the 'Sort by:' option.
Results can also be filtered by content type – Case Studies, Articles, Research Papers and News – using the tabs at the top of search results pages.
The left-hand column of the search results pages contains a wide range of further refinement tools to help you pinpoint the information you need. These include the ability to narrow by:
- Date range: view documents within a specific publication period (e.g. 2012-2015)
- Source: focus on documents from a specific source (e.g. just Admap articles)
- Country: view documents that relate to or mention a specific country
- Industry sector: refine your results to documents about a sector (e.g. Food)
- Brand: view documents that relate to individual brands
Users also have the opportunity to word search within your current results.
Any refinements you make will automatically be applied to your search results. These selections are summarised in the box headed 'Your Current Refinements' at the top of the left-hand column. You can easily undo any refinements you've made by clicking the grey crosses that appear beside each refinement.
The WARC search engine supports Boolean searching, which enables complex search expressions to be created by chaining keywords together using standard operators such as 'OR', 'AND', 'NEAR' and 'NOT'. These operators must be entered in UPPER CASE.
For example: advertising AND children NEAR toys AND NOT food
Other search options and tools
More search options, including combinations of keyword criteria, content field, date range and publication source, are available using the Advanced Search.
WARC's entire collection of case studies can also be searched by industry sector, campaign objective, media, region and target audience using the Case Finder tool.
- Do I have to subscribe to warc.com to access WARC Data?
- What is the cost of WARC Data as a standalone service?
- Can we purchase data on a one-off basis?
- What is included in my annual subscription?
- Can I share my log-on details with colleagues?
- I've forgotten my password/username or my password/username is not working – what do I do?
- Who do I contact if there is a technical problem with the site?
- How do you collect the global adspend data?
- Which countries are covered in the Adspend Database?
- Which media are covered in the Adspend Database?
- How far back do the adspend data go?
- What is meant by the currency 'PPP'?
- How often are WARC data/statistics sections updated?
- Are data shown at rate card level or net of discounts?
- How do you collect the data within the Media Costs Database?
- Which countries are covered in the Media Costs Database?
- Which media are covered in Media Costs Database?
- Which target audiences are covered in the Media Costs Database?
- What is meant by 'cost per thousand'?
- What is meant by 'cost per 100 GRPs'?
- If I require more detailed adspend information for a particular market e.g. breakdown of display/classified spend, is this available?
- What does 'constant prices' mean?
- When forecasting, does WARC use constant currency exchange rates or does it project fluctuations in currency?
- Does WARC Data include expenditure for product categories and brands?
- My custom spreadsheets show blanks, what have I done wrong?
Purchasing, subscriptions and renewals
Q. Do I have to subscribe to warc.com to access WARC Data?
A. No, you can subscribe to WARC Data as a standalone service.
Q. What is the cost of WARC Data as a standalone service?
A. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you.
Q. Can we purchase data on a one-off basis?
A. No, it is not possible to purchase a single data series or report. WARC Data is available as an annual subscription only.
Q. What is included in my annual subscription to WARC data?
A. Your annual subscription gives you full online access to WARC's range of benchmarking tools, as well as our extensive international advertising expenditure, media consumption and media costs data (including forecasts) for one calendar year. You can browse the product, and access sample data and reports, at warc.com/data.
Subscribers to warc.com also receive access to a wealth of additional information, including case studies and articles.
To upgrade your subscription to include all of WARC.com, please contact your Client Services Manager.
Q. Can I share my log-on details with colleagues?
A. Your personal profile details cannot be shared. Please contact your Client Services Manager at WARC for details of your license.
Problems accessing data
Navigating around the site
Q. How do I access the adspend database?
A. WARC's Adspend Database can be found here. You can access pre-made takeaway tables, or build your own tables using the table builder. Both of these options enable you to open or save data in Excel format. Articles relating to advertising spend, which include pre-made charts and datasets, can be accessed via the Data topics section.
Q. How do I access the Media Costs Database?
A. WARC'S Media Costs Database is located here. You can build your own tables and export these as Excel files. Alternatively, articles relating to media costs, which include pre-made charts and datasets, can be accessed via the Data topics section.
Q. How do you collect the global adspend data?
A. WARC carries out an annual survey of global advertising expenditure and issues questionnaires to monitoring organisations and/or ad industry bodies in each of the countries covered. Where possible, data are harmonised to ensure consistency across markets. Please refer to the detailed Notes & Sources within the Adspend Database for further information.
Q. Which countries are covered in the Adspend Database?
A. The adspend database contains expenditure for 96 global markets (full country listings are included within the database). The International Ad Forecast covers 12 key markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and US.
Q. Which media are covered in the adspend database?
A. The database includes advertising expenditure across traditional media, namely TV, newspapers, magazines, internet, mobile, radio, cinema and out of home. Availability does vary according to market.
Q. How far back do the adspend data go?
A. Data go back to 1980, although availability varies according to country.
Q. What is meant by the currency 'PPP'?
A. It stands for purchasing power parity. PPPs measure the buying power of local currency units (e.g. US$, GB£) when spent in their domestic markets. They enable accurate international comparisons of economies and prices by removing the impact of exchange rate fluctuations. The US economy is used as the global reference point for PPPs and is set to an index value of 100.
Q. How often are WARC data/statistics sections updated?
A. Global advertising expenditure is updated annually once all market data have been received, and the release date is dependent on the source organisation. Some organisations release data as early as March, others do not have figures until September. Therefore, individual markets will be updated on a rolling basis as soon as data are processed. Data for all markets – and therefore full year summary data – are usually complete by October of the following year.
The WARC International Ad Forecast (12 key global markets) is also updated on a rolling basis through the year, ensuring each projection is based on the latest available data.
WARC's series of Data Point articles are updated on a rolling basis throughout the year as well. This means that if you save an article on a topic of interest, you will always have access to the latest available data on that topic via your Saved Items folder.
For any further queries on WARC's data schedule please contact your Client Services Manager.
Q. Are data shown at rate card level or net of discounts?
A. Where possible, WARC publishes harmonised data (net of discounts, including press classified adspend and agency commission but excluding production costs) to give a more accurate, comparable picture of each country's ad market. However, this is not possible in all cases, and data collection methods vary considerably from country to country. Please refer to the detailed Notes & Sources included within the Adspend Database for further information.
Q. How do you collect the media costs data?
A. WARC works with a partner, media agency OMD, to collect media cost data for local markets. Please refer to the detailed Notes & Sources for each country within the Media Costs Database for further information.
Q. Which countries are covered in the Media Costs Database?
A. The countries covered vary from year to year, though data relating to 68 different countries are available.
Q. Which media are covered in the Media Costs Database?
A. The Media Costs Database includes the following traditional media: TV, newspapers, magazines, internet, radio, cinema and out of home. It should be noted that coverage does vary according to market and availability of accurate information.
Q. Which target audiences are covered in the Media Costs Database?
A. The Media Costs Database includes the following target audiences: Adults, men, women, kids, main shoppers, young adults, upmarket adults and businessmen. It should be noted that coverage does vary according to market and availability of accurate information.
Q. What is meant by 'cost per thousand'?
A. This is the cost of buying advertising space across a media channel in order to reach 1,000 people. It is calculated by dividing the amount spent on media by the number of ad exposures achieved (expressed in thousands). The total number of ad exposures is also referred to as the gross audience, eg. One person seeing five ads counts as five gross audience units.
Q. What is meant by 'cost per 100 GRPs'?
A. GRP = Gross Ratings Points. This is the media investment required to reach a gross audience equivalent to 100% of the target audience.
Media investment = US$1m
Gross audience (no. of ad exposures) = 200m
Target audience = 50m
Therefore, using the above figures:
The cost per thousand = media cost/gross audience (in thousands) = 1,000,000/200,000 = $5
The cost per 100 GRPs = cost per thousand x (target audience/1000) = $5 x (50,000,000/1,000) = $250,000
Q. If I require more detailed adspend information for a particular market e.g. breakdown of display/classified spend, is this available?
A. Detailed advertising spend information for WARC's 12 key markets is available via the International Ad Forecast. Further granularity for the UK is available to subscribers of the Expenditure Report (seperate subscription).
Q. What does 'constant prices' mean?
A. Constant prices allow researchers to examine data which has been adjusted to remove the impact of inflation. Technically, constant prices are volume measures whose values are calculated by applying prices from a specific base period to current quantities. This calculation produces a series of derived prices which facilitate comparisons across different periods.
Example: Total adspend for the USA amounted to $134bn (approximately) at current prices while the CPI figure for the year was 109.9 (based on 2005 being 100). At constant prices, the figure will therefore be $134bn multiplied by 100 then divided by 109.9. This gives $122bn.
Constant price figures in this report have been calculated using the CPI for all periods from 1981 onwards.
Q. When forecasting, does WARC use constant currency exchange rates or does it project fluctuations in currency?
A. All WARC forecasts use variable exchange rates, which are predicted using a consensus of third party currency forecasts. Details of the exchange rates used are available in the International Ad Forecast. Should the user wish to use a fixed or custom rate, the forecast is designed in a way that enables the user to input the exchange rate of their choice, with all adspend data updating automatically based on the user's specified value.
Q. Does WARC Data include expenditure for product categories and brands?
A. Some category level data are available via Data Point articles, though coverage is topline and varies between markets.
Q. My custom spreadsheets show blanks, what have I done wrong?
A. Absolutely nothing. A blank cell indicates no data are available for your particular selection. View more detail on availability of adspend data. View more data on countries available in our Media Costs Database.
Reproducing WARC data
Q. Am I allowed to reproduce WARC data in my reports?
A. You can include immaterial extracts of WARC data in internal reports or presentations, but permission must be sought from your Client Services Manager to republish significant amounts of data or to publish data externally. For more information about how you can use the data please refer to section 3 of the Terms and Conditions.