Economic effects of advertisingLearning ObjectivesAfter studying this chapter students should be able to:Recognize the key role advertising plays in our economy.Discuss the economic rationale for creating, accepting, and using advertising.Advertising is a major industry!Advertising occupies a special place in American society. Linked to the bedrock principles that shaped our nation—free speech, competition and democracy—it has served the public since colonial times as a source of vital information about our open, market-based economy. Two Nobel Laureates in economics, Dr. Kenneth Arrow and the late Dr. George Stigler, praise the value of advertising: “Advertising is a powerful tool of competition. It provides valuable information about products and services in an efficient and cost-effective manner. In this way, advertising helps the economy to function smoothly - it keeps prices low and facilitates the entry of new products and new firms into the market.”U.S. advertising accounts for about 2.5% of the $14 trillion Gross National Product. American consumers rely heavily on advertising to influence how they spend some $9 trillion annually on various goods and services. A 1999 study by the WEFA Group, one of the country's premiere econometric modeling firms and the Nobel Laureate in economics Dr. Lawrence R. Klein, further underscored this economic impact. The study found that advertising played a key role in generating 18.2 million of the 126.7 million jobs in the United States in that year. The report further concluded that advertising expenditures contributed between 12 to 16 percent of private sector revenues throughout the country, in rural as well as urban areas.A later study, conducted in 2005 by Global Insight, demonstrated that advertising helps to generate more than $5.2 trillion in sales and economic activity throughout the U.S. economy annually. That represents 20% of the nation’s $25.5 trillion in total economic activity. This economic stimulus provided support throughout the economy for more than 21 million jobs, or 15.2% of the U.S. work force. The purpose of the study was to quantify the economic and employment impacts of advertising. The study removed intervening effects (like consumers simply buying a product to replace an old one or a depleted one) to measure the role of advertising itself. Advertising plays such a strong role in the economy because it:Provides useful information to consumers that tells them about product and service choices as well as comparing features, benefits and prices. With more complete information, consumers and businesses often choose to purchase additional products and services.“Causes an economic chain reaction that (a) generates a net gain in direct sales and jobs due to the promotion of the industries' products and services, (b) generates indirect sales and jobs among the first level suppliers to the industries that incur the advertising expenditures, and (c) generates indirect sales and jobs among all other levels of economic activity as the sales ripple throughout the economy.”
Global Insight. “The Comprehensive Economic Impact of Advertising Expenditures in the United States” http://www.naa.org/.../Public-Policy-The-Comprehensive-Economic-Impact-of-Advertising-Expenditures-in-the-US.aspx, accessed November 1, 2007.Advertising also plays a significant role in the business cycle. As the broader economy shifts between periods of growth and recession, advertising shifts its focus. During downturns, ads may focus on the price of a product or service. If one company curtails advertising in order to cut costs during a downturn, another company might boost ad spending to grab customers and grow its market share. Advertising helps stimulate economic growth. In a country in which consumer spending determines the future of the economy, advertising motivates people to spend more. By encouraging more buying, advertising promotes both job growth and productivity growth both to help meet increase demand and to enable each consumer to have more to spend.Economic rationale to create advertisingCompanies spend money on advertising because it increases sales of existing products, helps grow adoption of new products, builds brand loyalty, and takes sales away from competitors. Although the exact return on investment (ROI) varies tremendously across industries, companies, campaigns and media channels, studies have found that a dollar spent on advertising returns $3 to $20 dollars in additional sales. To compete and grow in today's diverse, ever-changing marketplace, businesses must reach their target customers efficiently, quickly alerting them to new product introductions, improved product designs and competitive price points. Advertising is by far the most efficient way to communicate such information.Economic rationale to accept advertisingThe economics of advertising extend to the media channels that depend on advertising revenues. Many forms of advertising support the creation of content and make that content available at a much lower price (or free). For example, roughly 75% of the cost of a newspaper is supported by advertising. If newspapers contained no advertising, they would cost four times as much to buy on the newsstand. Broadcast radio and TV rely exclusively on ads—people get news, music, and entertainment for free while advertisers get an audience. Forms of media that the public takes for granted would be extremely expensive to the reader or viewer or would simply be out of business without the revenues advertising produces. The demand created by advertising helps the economy to expand.
Pattis, S. William. Careers in Advertising. Blacklick, OH, USA: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2004. p. 9.Advertising supports the arts: musical artists visit ad agencies to meet with directors of music and pitch songs to them they can use in TV ads. Advertisers need music that calls attention to the brand. Artists come to agencies because they know that companies spend tens of millions of dollars on media buys. “The major record labels don't have that kind of money,” says Josh Rabinowitz, senior vice president and director of music at Grey Worldwide. What's more, “TV ads give you the kind of heavy rotation you can't get on MTV anymore. In the very near future, some of the best bands will produce jingles.”For example, Jonny Dubowsky, lead singer and guitarist for Jonny Lives! uses corporate sponsorships to get exposure for his Indie band. The band debuted a single on an EA video game and launched a video at 900 American Eagle stores.
Fast Company, July/August 2007. For those with (slightly) different musical tastes, it’s worth noting that “rock star” Barry Manilow wrote advertising jingles before he crossed over to recording songs. His credits include the Band-Aid song (“I am stuck on Band-Aids, and a Band-Aid’s stuck on me”) and the theme for State Farm insurance (“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there).
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Manilow-Barry-511/Manilow-TV-jingles.htm, accessed July 17, 2008.Economic rationale to use advertisingThe perspective called the economics of information shows how consumers benefit from viewing advertising. By providing information, advertising reduces consumers’ search costs (time spent looking for products) and reduces disutility (unhappiness or lost value) from picking the wrong products. Advertising provides information such as:Describing new products and what they doAlerting consumers to product availability and purchase locations;Showing consumers what to look for on store shelvesHelping them differentiate among competitive choices;Advising them of pricing information and promotional opportunitiesUltimately, advertising also saves consumers money by encouraging competition that exerts downward pricing pressures.Key TakeawaysAdvertising is a major industry. It contributes to the economy directly (via the jobs it creates to produce ad messages) but also indirectly as it stimulates demand and provides information about other products and services.Key Termsdog whistle advertisingeconomics of informationExercisesAdvertising is “the glue that holds our culture together”. Evaluate this statement and decide whether you are in agreement with it or not. State and defend your position.Describe the economic rationale for creating, accepting, and using advertising.List and describe the six (6) information subjects relevant to consumers that are addressed by advertising.