Pru chief bemoans lack of effective ad research

Current media research is inadequate and inappropriate for advertisers’ needs because it focuses on audience numbers instead of advertising effectiveness, a top advertiser has claimed.

Dominic Owens, advertising corporate identity manager at the Prudential, made a scathing attack on media research which cannot tell him if anyone saw his ads. He was speaking at Marketing Week’s Exploiting Media Information conference last week.

“I need more than information about coverage and opportunities to see, I need to know if my message is going through,” he complained.

“There is a ú5bn ad spend in the UK annually and my ú10m amounts to 0.2 per cent of that, and it is for a boring product. I need to know what I need to do to get noticed.

“It’s not just a case of how many people may have seen your ad,” he continued, “but also in what context they saw it.”

Owens called for research into sections of newspapers and how newspapers are read. “I don’t even know if I should be using colour or which size of site works in the press,” he said.

He suggested that because of confusion over advertising effectiveness and media inflation outstripping their budgets, advertisers were looking for non-advertising vehicles such as sponsorship, advertorials and inserts.

Dominic Owens