Exhibit B: Private Eye points out the bullshit behind M&S's effectiveness award wins. It advertised and sales went up 50 per cent. It still advertises in the same way and sales have gone down 5 per cent.
Exhibit C: In last week's Campaign, Tim Broadbent, the chief planning officer for O&M Asia, said: "There's little, if any, evidence that advertising increases category size. It doesn't create demand, it channels demand from one brand to another. If that's right, advertising has no influence on total consumption."
Crikey. We're just rearranging the deckchairs.
Reading the above makes you think. This industry is already maligned for its intrusive yammering, crassness and moral bankruptcy. To suggest it's all ultimately in vain is enough to send you running for the pills.
If we're not persuading people to buy a car, merely making them choose between cars, then are we really doing anything?
You could argue that the element of competition, stoked by advertising, creates a better product/service for the consumer, but that doesn't feel like much. Does it?