Industry Identifies $50 Billion in Ad Waste

september 21, 2004  09:55 am
For years Madison Avenue's leading thinkers have pondered the same fundamental question: How much of their advertising actually works? In what is likely the grandest post-buy analysis of all time, the Advertising Research Foundation this week will release findings of a review of more than a dozen of the most sophisticated cross-media case studies ever conducted. Its conclusion: About $50 billion in U.S. ad spending is "wasted." That figure equates to about 18.8 percent of the $266 billion in U.S. ad spending estimated by Universal McCann for 2004, but the precise number isn't as important as the fact that the ad industry now claims to have identified some of its biggest and most obvious areas of waste.