Study: Billions of Pounds in Advertising Goes Untapped


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Pitney Bowes report values ‘transpromotional’ advertising in five major European economies

Over €2.8 billion pounds worth of advertising space on bills and statements lies unused in the major European economies of Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain, a new report published by Pitney Bowes reveals. The advertising value of this wasted opportunity is equivalent to 24% of combined annual direct mail spend across the five countries studied. Organisations leaving this ‘free’ advertising opportunity unexploited are in danger of introducing major inefficiencies into their marketing communications activity.

Out of the eight key markets researched, transpromotional opportunities on bank and credit card statements are the greatest untapped opportunity, with almost €1.8bn worth of advertising space left unused. Furthermore, out of the countries surveyed, it is the UK that emerges as the leading major European economy offering the greatest transpromotional advertising opportunities, representing 50% of the total European credit card market. Despite this, the UK remains the weakest country at supporting transpromo opportunities, with idle media space on customer communications found to be worth €765,335,897.

Ronald van Hees, Document Messaging Technologies International, Europe, Pitney Bowes comments, “The value of the transpromotional advertising opportunity in Europe, and its considerable size relative to the direct mail production sector, means that firms are starting to recognise its value not just externally, but also as an internal asset. There has been a certain reluctance amongst European marketers to believe that advertising on bills and statements would work, despite the attractiveness of being able to turn a cost-burden into a revenue generator. Yet the possibilities that this ‘free’ advertising and/or retention channel might have something to offer kept tantalising the minds of marketers, especially amongst key banks and wealth managers anxious to find every available means of up-selling or cross-selling to their high net worth customers.

“The seriousness with which international business is now investigating this channel is evident in the fact that the US technology analysts have now given it a name – “transpromotional” or more briefly “transpromo” advertising. This recognition from the major technology analysts is critical. It indicates that the technique has moved from being just the experiment of a few pioneers, to being a mainstream advertising method. A substantial marketplace of technology and service providers has been established, that end-user organisations are actively taking up those technologies and services, and that the technique is delivering hard results for those employing it”.

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