INTERNATIONAL: INTERNATIONAL ISSUES; European Media and Marketing Survey fills information gap

Agencies have welcomed the EMS. But what does it offer, Dominic Mills asks?

Agencies have welcomed the EMS. But what does it offer, Dominic Mills


Stick all the information from the new blockbuster European Media and

Marketing Survey (EMS) on to your PC - and it might blow up. The survey,

which launches this week, contains, according to one sponsor, 160

megabytes of data with everything from the media consumption habits of

the 40 million citizens of Europe - the top 13 per cent by income - to

their travel, business, personal finance and product usage plans.

And it doesn’t end there. Say Ericsson and its agencies want to fuse

basic media usage and demographics data with information analysing

propensity to buy a mobile phone: one push of a button and some helpful

data spews out of the machine. The same can be done for portable

computers (see second table, right), cars and a few other product

sectors besides. Better than that, all data will be updated every six


‘If the information is used correctly,’ Iain Jacob, director of

international media for Motive, says, ‘it will give us a comparative

insight into different media and we will no longer have to rely on the

sometimes dodgy assumptions of the different strengths of different

media in different countries as some have in the past.’

Another plus point is that agencies have happily given the project their

backing. A number of leading shops - among them CIA Medianetwork,

Initiative Media, 20/20 Media, Motive, Leo Burnett, TMD Carat and

Hakuhodo - have signed up as co-sponsors, giving the survey credibility.

According to Peter Masson, a media research specialist with long

experience of pan-European media studies and a consultant to EMS, the

survey should help both advertisers and agencies reassess the way they

buy international media. ‘Up until now, international media have been

treated as second-class citizens,’ he says. ‘If you look at some of the

media surveyed here, they are as big on a pan-European basis as the big

domestic or national media. But media departments don’t look at them

that way. In fact, they should be treated with the same importance as a

planner-buyer treats say, German or French media.’

Masson should know. At the former London Press Exchange (now Leo

Burnett) in the late 60s he was a pioneer in the field of international

media, later helping to found the European Businessman’s Readership

Survey and the PES, the forerunner of EMS. ‘You have to think it will

get better as a result of this,’ he says, ‘not least because it will now

be possible for planners to hold a serious inter-media debate about the

merits of pan-European TV versus the daily press and weekly magazines.

We have never been able to compare press against TV before, which meant

that all the TV stations did their own thing. In addition, for the first

time there is information there about light viewers and heavy press

consumers, all of which can be related to product consumption


This is one point that Tom Toumazis, head of sales for Eurosport, picks

up on. ‘The figures look good for us,’ he says, ‘but we are not so

interested in picking up business from CNN or NBC - in fact, we want

pan-European TV as a whole to be seen to be doing well - as taking it

from domestic TV and international press. What I need to do is to

convince the business market as a whole to take money out of the

international press and into TV.’

The survey, it is hoped, will also help international media attract

dedicated budgets. As one sales boss says: ‘Before the Single Market it

was easier because Europe was treated as a series of export markets and

you could get budgets from the centre. Now the centre has to bully money

out of the local markets, which is always difficult, but much harder

when you don’t have any real ammunition with which to build your case.’

For Penny Mortimer, Reader’s Digest’s marketing development manager for

global advertising, there are other advantages, among them the survey’s

independence. ‘Until now, there has been only media-owner sponsored

research for general consumption. These media owners have been

criticised for producing such obvious propaganda. Now the life of a

planner will be easier - they won’t have to use different bits of data

for each country.’

Mortimer adds: ‘There’s a new generation of planners working on accounts

such as cars, household appliances, alcoholic drinks and travel for whom

this information will be invaluable. For example, women make up 30 per

cent of this survey, so now we have a much better idea of their

consumption and how they behave.’

Thus, by breaking out the EMS data in relation to portable computers,

media planners can see how the changing demographics of the user/buyer

market might affect a media schedule. Whereas the bias in 1994 was more

towards men, who were aged 25-49 and light TV viewers, the 1995/96

marketplace shows a more pronounced female bias. The age range has

changed too, with a greater emphasis on 25- to 40-year-olds and 55- to

64-year-olds. Overall, the target group watches more TV than before and,

in terms of professional status, comprises fewer board directors and

more office or administration workers. This is consistent with their

media consumption habits, which show a higher index on women’s magazines

and English-language press and TV than on inflight magazines or national

news magazines.

Overall, the EMS numbers are likely to make comforting reading for

international advertisers and the media owners, many of whom deliver

weekly audiences that match national media.

Among the TV channels, Eurosport (3.75 million) has more than twice the

viewers of its nearest rivals, Arte (1.8 million) and CNN (1.5 million).

Not that everything is perfect yet. As Masson concedes, the current lack

of daypart ratings may initially disappoint some buyers. ‘We took the

view that it was better to take a general step first and then get more

specific later,’ he says.


Reach of the major pan-european media


                              Readers/    Male/      Age 18-44     45+

                               Viewers    Female       (000)      (000)

                                 (000)    (000)

Daily Papers

The European                      315     228/88         175       140

Financial Times                 1,125     863/262        701       420

Int. Herald Tribune               212     161/51         130        83

Wall Street Journal               101     128/34         111        50

USA Today                         162      80/21          70        31

Weekly/Fortnightly magazines

Business Week                     342     261/81         193       149

Economist                         843     636/207        511       332

Fortune                           210     163/47         125        85

Le Point                          895     579/316        437       457

L’ Express                      1,375     878/497        704       671

Newsweek                          798     575/223        444       353

Paris Match                     1,515     849/616        721       793

Time                            1,308     939/370        738       570

Monthly Magazines

Cosmopolitan                    3,916   1,799/2,117    2,690      1,222

Marie Claire                    3,687   1,408/2,280    2,473      1,209

Reader’s Digest                 5,526   3,612/1,914    2,732      2,789

Elle                            2,806   1,094/1,712    1,840        964

Vogue                           2,685   1,222/1,463    1,775        907


Arte                            1,791   1,215/575        841        944

BBC World                          84      65/19          42         39

CNN                             1,543   1,227/316        888        654

Discovery                         628     498/130        396        231

Euronews                        1,203     907/295        703        497

EBN                                57      43/13          28         29

Eurosport                       3,758   2,979/779      2,183      1,569

MTV                             1,426   1,025/401      1,079        345

NBC                               524     431/93         314        210

TNT                               380     282/97         210        156

TV5                               618     426/195        333        313



Media habits of portable computer buyers


                                  1994      1995/96    Index of

                                  % net      % net      change

                                 coverage   coverage

National news magazines            30.3       32.2        106

National women’s magazines*        24.1       30.6        127

Reader’s Digest**                  16.2       14.7         91

Inflight magazines                 23.5       24.3        103

English-language daily paper       17.0       19.1        112

English-language TV                24.2       26.8        111

Source: EMS 1995 Notes: In 1994 there were 3.4 million portable owners.

A further 1.8 million say they have bought one since or will this year.

*Groups together the different national editions of magazines like

Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Elle. **Groups together the different

country editions of Reader’s Digest