Report gives a force impression

In his article “BJA makes army a prime target” (MW December 9), Chris Boulding describes a study on the armed forces carried out by BJ Associates. The aim of the study is to assess the susceptibility to advertising of officers leaving the armed forces and to suggest mediums by which firms can exploit this potential market.

Not only are the facts incorrect – nowhere near 15,000 officers will be leaving the forces in 1995 (the true figure is nearer 3,000) – but the argument that they are “as inward-looking a selection of adults as it is possible to find” is facile and not supported by evidence.

Many readers may know someone who has served in the forces and will be aware that the stereotype portrayed in the article bears no relation to reality. I can also assure your readers that officers watch TVand read a wide variety of newspapers; they have been as over-exposed as the rest of the population to the “clutter of branding messages”.

It is also quite laughable to suggest that officers can best be reached through a couple of specific magazines but titles such as Management Today and Rugby World, to name but two, are probably more widely read, and certainly more widely believed.

D J Campbell

Address withheld

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