Radio Effectiveness Lab Touts Radio's ROI Versus TV

When it comes to grocery items and over-the-counter drugs, the Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab says that the return on investment using radio was nearly 50 percent higher than national TV advertising alone.

The RAEL released its findings, which were conducted on its behalf by Millward Brown and Information Resources, at The Yale Club Tuesday morning in New York City.

The study, RAEL's third, looked at four pairs of radio and TV campaigns in a range of product categories over a six-month period. The product categories included "grocery food," "grocery non-food," and two over-the-counter drug products. They were also conducted in four separate and distinct markets: one with no television or incremental radio; one with incremental radio only; one with national television only; and one with both national television and incremental radio.

"With any single study, there are caveats, and this project is no exception," said Gary Fries, president and chief executive officer of the Radio Advertising Bureau and Co-Chairman of RAEL. "These are four products measured for six months at one point in time. These advertisers are all well-respected national marketers, but they aren't necessarily typical even of their own categories. A different mix of advertisers could well yield different results. Furthermore, three of the four advertisers were already regular users of radio, as evidenced by their use of network radio during the study period. Perhaps these advertisers were more experienced with the medium, though that played no role in their recruitment."

Some media buyers acknowledged that radio, along with print, sometimes takes an unnecessary back seat to TV and the Internet.

"I think a lot of times we stress media neutrality, but we don't often practice what we preach," said one media executive. "But the bottom line is it's good for the radio industry to keep promoting these sorts of studies, if only to at least get our attention every now and then."

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