Freddy Swan

Don’t get too sweaty – I never heard or saw it either before I plunged onto the internet and googled “How will the advent of the internet effect existing media?”Much to my surprise this densely reasoned article about the “Principle of Relative Constancy” is all about advertising. I didn’t know we had principles, did you?

Well, we do, and what this Principle says – in several thousand well chosen words – is that the internet won’t kill TV or radio or newspapers; it will just sort of say “Move over; I’m going to eat a part of the existing advertising dollar pie PLUS we’re going to share the same viewers.” That didn’t seem too logical to me. But the article has the numbers to prove it.

When TV came in big time in the 50’s, the new media took a share of the existing advertising dollars and the big loser was the movies. Radio, newspaper, and magazine readership just shrunk, but it didn’t disappear. Those media’s share of the advertising dollars shrunk but they adapted. That’s what the Principle of Relative Constancy implies is what is happening now with the advent of the internet. So you ad guys and gals don’t throw out your old media planners; just get ready to make adjustments by using the old media in more focused and niche oriented ways.

For example, it appears that users of the internet tend to be the readers of newspapers and magazines more so than non-internet users. So – ad agencies will need to develop strategies for their clients that allow conventional media to coexist with the internet possibly by concentrating on areas that the internet can not do as well.

So aren’t you glad we discovered the Principle of Relative Constancy – it means we can still play with all our media toys – just not in quite the same way as before.

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