AA’s DM stats fail to add up

Do the Advertising Association’s marketing spend figures really add up?

Do the Advertising Association’s marketing spend figures really add up?

The recent statistics issued by the Advertising Association show that growth in direct marketing rose by 4.2 per cent at the

beginning of 2004 compared to overall growth for the advertising industry of 4.8 per cent. But these figures are very misleading.

The key issue is that direct marketing is being defined as direct mail. While direct mail is a core medium for the DM industry, it is by no means the sole medium. As direct marketing has become more sophisticated in its targeting, so too has the repertoire of media that we use. Most agencies these days are using a mix of press, radio and outdoor as well as direct-response television and I suspect that there is a great deal of direct response activity within these specific media. We can’t, therefore, just assume that advertising is pure brand advertising because increasingly it’s direct response advertising too.

Clearly, this will not be reflected in the figures that have been reported by the Advertising Association. Added to this, we are seeing a significant rise in the use of digital and online media which are also core components of the DM industry but alas, none of this spend is taken into account either.

Richard Marshall

Business development director

Tullo Marshall Warren

London SW3

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