Advertise, advertiser, advertising or advertisement(s)?

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Students' Brief 1: ADVERTISING

are messages, paid for by those who send them, intended to inform or influence people who receive them. All of us see every day of our lives, though we may not always be aware of it. Here are some examples:

* A supermarket chain has cut all its prices. It advertises in the daily papers and on television to announce the cuts.

* The Government has decided to start a new savings scheme. in the daily papers explain the scheme and tell readers how to join.

* A manufacturer has brought out a new, improved product. He takes space in the papers, and buys time on television, to tell people about it.

* Summer is coming - the ice-cream season. An ice-cream company wants to remind people to ask for its products by name. There is a television campaign supported by poster .

* There is drought and famine in Africa. Emergency supplies are desperately needed. A charity advertises in the daily papers asking for money and explaining how it will be spent.

Newspapers, television and posters are only three of the media, in which appears. Others include magazines, independent local radio, the cinema, showcards in shops, even the sides of hot-air balloons.

Anyone can be an advertiser. If you wanted to sell your bike, you could put a card in a shop window for a few pence, or put a 'small ad' in the classified section of your local paper. But this leaflet is about by companies, organizations or Government departments which want to inform or influence large numbers of people.


Independent Television, which provides two of Britain's four TV channels, depends largely upon for its income. In return, the Independent Television programme companies provide the programmes. Newspapers and magazines, too, rely on to pay their bills. Only part of the cost of producing and distributing them is met by the price you pay at the shop. on the sides of buses, inside Tube trains and in rail and bus stations helps to keep the cost of fares down.

In television and the press, it is a strict rule in Britain that must be distinct from the other material surrounding it. This is why, on television, there is always a short break between the programmes and the commercials. In newspapers and magazines, that might be confused with news stories or feature articles have to be labelled as . So you can always tell whether it's an advertiser who is talking to you, and you can make up your own mind whether or not to take any notice.


costs money. The media sell their space or time to advertisers. Producing the themselves is the work of highly-skilled people who have to be paid for their time. All this money and effort would be wasted unless the advertiser's message reached the people he intends it for.

For example, if you wanted to advertise a new range of fashion shoes it would be no use taking space in a newspaper read mainly by businessmen. If you were selling double-glazing, you would not want to advertise in a magazine for teenagers. Every one of the media has a profile - an outline of the kind of people who see it. The advertiser needs to match the people for whom his message is intended with the media in which the message will appear.


The 'language' of the is important, too. The 'language' of includes not only the words but also the pictures, and even the style of type used.

Think of the fashion shoes again. An for fashion shoes would look entirely different from one for stout walking shoes. What is important about fashion shoes is that their colour and style should be attractive and up to date. But stout walking shoes are expected to stand up to tough wear, keep the water out, and be comfortable. In , the words used, the style of photograph or artist's drawing and the whole effect would stress these different points.


There are so many different ways to advertise, so many different 'audiences' and so many different media that getting the best out of is a highly skilled job. It involves experts in many different fields - writers, artists, photographers, designers, television production crews and many others. The advertiser will have put aside so much money - his budget - for . How can he be sure it is spent in the most effective way?

This is where the agency comes in. The agency is usually the link between the advertiser - the skilled people who can.turn.-his message. into-an effective - and the media where the will appear. -

Between them, the advertiser and his agency will decide questions like this:

* Where is the potential market?
* What is the message?
* Who are the audience?
* What is the best way to reach that audience?
* What kind of 'language' should we use?

The answers will enable the agency to plan a campaign. This might include in one kind of media, or in several kinds. It might be a short campaign lasting only a few weeks, or it might be spread over several months.

Once these decisions have been made, the agency will present the advertiser with ideas for the campaign. Meanwhile, space will be booked in newspapers and magazines, and perhaps on poster sites, and time will be. booked with the television programme companies. When the form of the has been finally decided, the agency will arrange for typesetting and artwork to be produced. '

Everything will be planned down to the smallest detail so that when the campaign opens all its separate parts fit neatly together.


The price of space depends on the type of newspaper or magazine, the kind of people who read it, the number of copies sold, and on the size and exact position of the . The cost of time on television or radio varies according to the size of audience that the station expects to have at the time when the goes out, and, of course, on the length of time bought.

A big campaign using national newspapers, magazines and television can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. But the large national and international companies that run this kind of campaign have sales running into hundreds of millions of pounds each year, and represents only a small proportion of the total cost of producing, distributing and selling their goods.

At the other end of the scale, a shopkeeper opening a new shop, and announcing the fact with spaces in the local papers and a few short 'spot' on regional television, need spend only about £3000 for a very effective campaign.


The short answer is that it must work, otherwise advertisers wouldn't bother. But it cannot work on its own. It cannot sell a product that is no good for its purpose. It cannot make people change their views unless they are ready for their views to be changed. What does very well is to show people what the choices are, whether they are choosing brands of soap or careers for the future.

Advertisers and agencies can check up on how effective their is. When a product is being advertised, they can look at the difference in sales before and after a campaign. Another method is market research - asking people whether they noticed the and whether they acted on them. Often, before are used all over the country, they are tested in regional newspapers or in one or more TV areas. This avoids expensive mistakes and gives the advertiser the chance to prove that his message works before he spends money on a full national campaign. Sometimes, after an unsuccessful test, campaigns are altered or scrapped altogether, and it has been known for products themselves to be withdrawn after a test failure. This confirms that can't work on its own.


If we watch Independent Television or buy magazines or newspapers, we all benefit because of the contribution makes to their costs. The same is true of Independent Local Radio, and of Radio Luxembourg.

If more goods are sold as a result of , the manufacturers' overhead costs are reduced and this helps to keep prices down - so can help the consumer.

If more goods are sold, more people are needed to make them - so can help to create new jobs. And we must not forget the thousands of people who have jobs in printing, publishing, TV production and the agencies.


Advertisers cannot say what they like. For example they cannot claim that a car does 50 miles per gallon if it only does 30. In Britain, is strictly controlled. Some of these controls have been agreed among people involved in and others are laid down by law.

Television and radio are controlled by the Independent Broadcasting Authority, which oversees the 16 ITV companies, Channel 4- and Independent Local Radio. The IBA has it own Code of Standards and Practice which forbids some kinds of - gambling,money-lending and charities for example - altogether. There are strict rules about intended for children, and those in which children appear. If a TV commercial does not meet the Code of Practice it cannot be shown.

For other media the industry itself has a Code of Advertising Practice, whose basic rule is that all should be legal, decent, honest and truthful. This Code binds advertiser, agency and media owner, but the principal responsibility lies with the advertisers. The system is described as self-regulatory because the majority of the decisions which ensure conformity with the Code are taken at the level of the advertiser, the agency and the medium.

The Code is enforced by the Standards Authority, which is independent of he business - its chairman is a substantial public figure and two- thirds of its governing Council are drawn from outside . Its function is to make sure that the industry's self-regulatory system works in the public interest. It investigates complaints from the general public and publishes its findings regularly.