Newspaper advertising in Malaysia is as effective as it was six years ago, according to a study released by Omnicom Media Group last week.
The survey does not claim newspaper advertising is more effective than other mediums.
The OMG findings claim newspapers readers take note of 57% of newspaper ads, a figure which has remained unchanged since the agency did a similar study back in 2003, despite the increasing amount of marketing messages consumers are exposed to from a wide range of media channels.
"Of course, there are some variations across different demographic segments and newspapers titles, but the fact that the majority of ads are noticed by readers points to the continued relevance and importance of newspapers to advertisers," Guy Hearn, director of communications insights, OMG Asia Pacific, said.
The results of the study, which back newspaper advertising, is unlikely to affect rates between one of Malaysia's largest media agency OMG and newspaper publishers.
"The point of the study was not to evaluate the rates," OMG managing director, Andreas Vogiatzakis, said.
According to Vogiatzakis, the study will enable marketers to perform "smarter media buying and planning".
Over a two week period, 1,023 newspaper readers aged 15 to 34 across four market centres were tested on their recall of 15 ads placed in different positions and different formats in newspapers they had read.
OMG tested 2,452 different ads in 15 main newspapers.
As results, the agency was able to develop three indicators of effectiveness which are Ad Noting or recall, Ad Read or reader's attention, and Brand Recall.
The data shows that bigger ads perform better, a full page ad yields 21% higher Ad Noting than a quarter page while coloured ads also scored high in the survey.
Almost 60% of coloured ads are noticed compared to 53% of black and white ads.
Other known beliefs such as right hand ads performing better were also backed up by the 2009 Optimum Impression research.
Interestingly, sandwiched ads or ads placed in the middle of a page between news articles generated as much as 40% higher Ad Noting.
Although it is worth noting the survey did not indicate whether a reader reacted positively or negatively towards an ad.
The Optimum Impression study was first rolled out by OMG in 2000. Malaysia is the only market in the region where OMG has done this so far although it could launch in other markets soon.
"Malaysia's newspaper market is so vibrant, it allows us to do comparisons," OMG's Hearn said.
Media Planning Guide Malaysia stated there were as many as 50 newspapers in Malaysia in its 2009 edition.
Malaysia - 21 January 2010