- Emeritus Professor from the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, New York.
- BA (with Honors) and MA in Economics from Cambridge University.
- He spent 25 years with J. Walter Thompson in Europe before he entered the academic world.
- He is the author of 15 books mainly devoted to the economic aspects of advertising. These have been translated into ten foreign languages. He has also published about 100 papers in leading professional and academic journals.
- He has carried out consulting assignments for more than 100 major companies and professional organizations in 40 different countries.
- He has received honors from the American Advertising Federation, and the Chancellor of Syracuse University, for Exceptional Academic Achievement.
I was introduced to this remarkable man at a function in New York where we were both recipients of the Emergent Author Awards from TELMAR. Susequntly we have become great friends with his wife and him. They often visited South Africa to tour the sites of the Anglo-Boer war.
I pointed him to the early draft of this site and here is his comment:
“I am studying your website.
Here is a thought that you might want to follow up. I cannot trace all the details, but you should be able to dig them out. The lessons are directly relevant to all “sin” products.
When cigarettes were removed from the television screen in the United States, the cigarette companies could not find other media that were big enough to carry the advertising budgets. The end result was a reduction in total advertising volume in the cigarette field. Total consumption of cigarettes was not of course affected in any way. However, since the same sales were being generated by a much smaller amount of advertising, the delightful result of this brouhaha was a significant increase in the profits of the tobacco companies. Very nice, don’t you think?”
And he added in a seperate e-mail:
“I have indeed published some good data on the macroeconomic effects of advertising. This appears in my book How Advertising Works: The Role of Research. It forms Chapter 29, Macroeconomic Effects: The Influence of Advertising on Overall Sales Levels. The book was published in 1998, but the data are of timeless value.”
Before I quote from the above book it is worthwhile to consider one of his other books: When Advertising Works (1995).
Most lay-people find it amazing that there existed no good evidence that advertising works untill 1995. All evidence that was sought untill that stage were econometric studies. Both obtaining data and computing power was a problem in these days so that only a few studies, like Smalensee’s, existed.
The main problem was that it is nearly impossible to ask people whether they have seen an advertisment for a brand and then whether they bought the brand withput contaminating your information by sensitising the person to look out for the ad.
John Philip Jones and the AC Nielsen companyset up an experiment where people recorded their grocery shopping using hand-held scanners. In these households there was also a monitor on the TV set that recorded what channels were being watched by whom in the household. This gave an unique database where exposure to specific advertisements and subsequent brand purchases were recorded.
From this it was possible to, for the first time ever, record the short term effect of advertisements.
It is against this background that John is the person best qualified, in the world, to make statements as above.
(I am awaiting a copy of his book since I have lost mine – and will then quote more)