Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The joys of being mathematically challenged

Just read` a news item announcing that according to IAMAI, almost 40,000 brands in India tried online advertising, as compared to ‘just’ 9000 in television.

A little shocked at this amazing success, I tried to do the number on spend per advertiser. The numbers are Rs 7500 per advertiser for the net, and Rs 66 lacs per advertiser on TV. Yes, you read that right.

Making your typical TV advertiser about 888 times the size of your typical net advertiser. Makes you wonder just precisely what sort of entities have been clubbed as advertisers, when it comes to the net. In fact, experience dictates that advertisers who would be considered good by TV standards are not over 75-80 on the net right now, with an equally large number threatening to become big in the coming 18 months or so. Some way off from the at least 1000-1200 entities of comparable or much larger size on TV.

While one can understand the need for the IAMAI to be the industry cheerleader, one really wonders if they have to get into comparisons with other media at all, especially for attention grabbing headlines.

One could write tomes on the number of times journos screw up on numbers, mixing up the millions for billions and what not. But I think doing simply number crunching on the handouts they get would make reading so much more of a pleasure for us poor challenged guys…

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