Africa struggles with media data


As a new media consumption tool is launched in South Africa there have been claims that the country's advertising expenditure figures have been hugely overstated. Peter Langschmidt, chief executive of marketing consultancy Echo, told the Financial Mail that official adspend data was roughly double the true figure as it did not take into account widespread discounts.

Nielsen said that R34.4bn was spent on advertising in South Africa in the 12 months to February 2013, but Langschmidt argued that figure was based on rate cards "which is different from actual spending because everyone negotiates for discounts". The real figure, he suggested, could be nearer R19bn.

But he said the share between the various media types – 47.3% for TV, 29.3% for print, 15.6% for radio and 7.8% for other, including online, cinema and out-of-home – was accurate.

Chris Botha, managing director of the Media Shop, pointed to the oversupply of advertising inventory as a factor. "This is when the media owners offer packages and deals that clients lap up," he said.

CWP Advertising media director Dawn Nagel added that the biggest discounts came from television "because the rates are quite steep and the stations often have a lot of unsold inventory".

Separately, Dashboard Marketing Intelligence, a Cape Town-based research company, has launched Pinpoint, a media-consumption and audience-tracking tool for Africa."

Media investment in African countries is substantial," said Peter Searll, Dashboard managing partner, "but there is little, if any, accurate or stable media consumption data."

He said such data was essential if businesses were to make the right media investment and sponsorship decisions and Pinpoint was being supported by major clients SABMiller, the brewer, and DStv, the satellite TV network.He explained that rather than have respondents keep a month-long diary of media consumption, Pinpoint only asked for the previous day, with information then uploaded through mobile and GPS technology to make quantified data available within two weeks.