Advertising inserts are the second most influential media in consumer buying decisions and the most influential among working women, according to a study by research firm Customer Contact Inc.
The study, commissioned by insert producer TC Advertising, a division of Big Flower Holdings, New York, also found that consumers turn to inserts first for help when they are ready to make a purchase. Inserts beat out all media, including direct mail, TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.
Companies spent $12.2 billion on insert advertising in 1997, nearly as much as was spent on the four major television networks combined, according to Therese Mulvey, TC vice president of strategic marketing.
The study also found that 77 percent of consumers read the advertising inserts that come in the Sunday newspaper and use them for comparison shopping. Most consumers hold on to inserts for six to 10 days. Half prefer to receive them in the newspaper, 29 percent by direct mail and 13 percent in stores.