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Revised Amps data

About two years after the demise of Amps (et al), the Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) has announced the release of an update to the 2015 Amps, data using 2016 population statistics.

It's a good move but, not wishing to rain on anyone's parade, all it really is, is a (minor) adjustment to the numbers.

It is not a “new” survey.

The "new" Amps that was released this week (although it was actually released at the end of August) is essentially the same as the Amps Dec 15 but re-weighted to the 2016 population numbers, so the changes are only reflecting population shifts and not any actual answer changes.

This is, however, a good stop-gap until Maps can be released next year, which will take the place of Amps.

Although there is the Establishment Survey, it is very limiting in what it actually provides to the industry and consequently in most cases, most planners are still referring to Amps to make strategic decisions.


Because of the lack of branded media research in the Establishment Survey, many users have no choice and are forced to refer to Amps.

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This is not a good place to be.

Spectral © – 123RF.com

The situation is still a little confusing – and to make matters worse, increasing numbers of advertisers are putting their advertising budgets into “non-traditional” media. Even the SABC admits their “advertising model” is not working. (But that's a whole other story, involving so many convoluted stories and theories and blustering that it's difficult to get to the bottom of why our national broadcaster is doing so badly).

Where is the money going?

Well, it's certainly going into social media but don't discount events and other promotional considerations. Maybe some companies are simply putting parts of their budgets back to the bottom line (it would make sense to a lot of people)?

This does not augur well for the future. When the advertising cake gets smaller, then agencies and media (and clients) suffer. There are job losses and a negative effect on the entire economy.

In the meantime, planners are basically stuck in the same place, using old data to make strategic decisions, whilst the media world surrounding them is exploding with opportunity.

But I feel sanguine about the future of our research industry. There is a lot happening behind the scenes and some clever people attempting to make sense of the situation we're in – and how to dig our way out of it (which we will).

The bottle is still half full!
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About Chris Brewer

Having joined the ad industry in London, Chris Brewer spent most of his career in media analysis and planning - but has performed just about every advertising task from Creative to Research. He's an honorary lifetime member of the Advertising Media Association and regularly advises agencies and clients regarding their media plan costs and strategies. He is also often asked to talk at industry functions. Email: . Twitter: @brewersapps. Read his blog: www.brewersdroop.co.za
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Read more: AMPS, Chris Brewer, MRF

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