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Media Planning - Buyer Beware

Michael_photo Misleading information disguised as "Readership Studies"

As the weather cools many advertisers and marketers turn up the heat on their budget planning for 2007.  All across the country large and small companies will attempt to create solid media plans with bad information.  You remember that old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely ain't."  Check this:

Recently I was reviewing some Media Kits (those great looking packets of information you receive from ad sales people) from various publications (both newspapers and magazines) for a client.   As usual these media kits told wonderful things about their circulation, pricing and over all abilities.  In three of the media kits I was reviewing I saw these statements:

"Over 96% of all or readers read our publication from cover to cover."

And:

"75% of the items (ads) we have in our publication, people want!"

And:

"Our newspaper is read by 40,000 readers each week, the largest circulation in the city!"

OK...call me cynical...but when was the last time you read ANYTHING, including the Bible, "cover to cover"?  Far too often I find some things I read to be so patently ridiculous that I slump into a drool within fifteen minutes.  96%..cover to cover?

How about the second claim:  "75% of items...people want".  Gee, what about the other advertisements?  The 25% of stuff nobody wants!  Maybe they were advertising the "red hot poker" designed to "stick into your eye".  But, then again, some wacko might just want one of those too.

Finally the newspaper that is read by "40,000 readers each week".  I honestly could have believed that...except when I asked how many newspapers the company actually printed I was told, "9,000 to 10,000".  Guess they circulate to BIG families...literate big families.

The bottom line is, as always, "Buyer Beware"!  This does not mean that every advertising outlet is misleading their buyers but you have to take the time and do the research.  When we produce a Media Plan for our clients we ask the tough questions.  We know that to be a success in selling anything you have to advertise...but you should be assured that the vehicle you are advertising in...might have a shot at working.  Questions?  Give us a call or write...we'll do our best to answer them.

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