OPINION23 February 2010

The cheapest way to measure ad effectiveness

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, former Tory MP Edwina Currie suggests that the most cost-efficient way of gauging the effectiveness of public service advertising might be to stop doing any.

“Exhortations to stop smoking, seek help for cocaine sniffing, enter further education, avoid drink-driving, join the Armed Forces, and take a chlamydia test are doubtless worthy,” she writes. “But seeing them all at once, any intelligent viewer is bound to wonder whether the Government is trying to keep the advertising industry in business all by itself.”

Her suggestion is to scrap the COI’s £540m budget and see what difference it makes. And with post-election spending cuts looming, that prospect seems less unrealistic than it might once have done.