Commercial radio finds favour with advertisers

Advertiser and agency attitudes to commercial radio have substantially improved in the past three years, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau Client Benchmark survey published this week.

“In almost every area, attitude shifts to commercial radio are positive,” RAB managing director Douglas McArthur says. Even sales houses – long a subject of agency discontent – enjoy a more positive image.

In 1992, the last time the Benchmark survey was conducted, advertisers ranked low capital costs, regional flexibility and immediacy as radio’s top-three strengths. This year, low cost, audience delivery and listener relationship come out on top.

Lack of data proving radio works as an advertising medium was a key barrier in 1992. This year, a key concern is how radio works, the survey shows.

Thirty nine per cent of media planners believed radio was too time-consuming for the size of the spend, when questioned three years ago. Fifty nine per cent now actually disagree with the statement.However, McArthur adds, there is still room for improvement. “We must work harder on the emotional effects of radio, and offer greater data on why and how people listen,” he says. “We must involve people in understanding better what makes radio tick.”

A new phase of the RAB’s Windows advertising campaign breaks in September and includes the circulation of copies of two 20-minute films about radio to 12,000 advertisers, agencies and media buyers.

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