One of the mysteries of the UK ad scene is that there is no good, up-to-date, practitioner-written textbook on media planning, so the arrival of an updated version of an established US text is doubly welcome.
Jack Sissors and (mostly, as a result of Mr Sissor's ill-health) Roger Baron have done a very thorough and comprehensive job of explaining and illustrating the basics, from how to get information about any given medium to how to put together a strategy and a detailed plan.
Unsurprisingly, the material is purely US-based, and therefore includes, for example, considerable discussion of the problems of reconciling different area definitions; but analyses such as how to weight a plan by region or medium can apply, suitably modified, anywhere.
There is a wide range of suggestions for (mostly) websites from which to seek detailed information, some of which may be both unfamiliar and useful to non-US readers - the MPA's analysis of the effects of position and ad size in magazines is a good example....
Many of the references may seem old, but, as the authors make clear, they have gone back to the classic originals of basic thinking - and much of this still holds good today.
The new edition is up-to-date, with quite extensive discussion of the internet as a medium, and slightly more limited coverage of cross-media and multi-media planning. Conversely, data fusion barely gets a mention - and is not in the index. Nor are optimisers, which are not discussed in any detail - merely treated as a tool of the trade - or modelling, which gets a brief half page on p374.
If the book has a weakness, it is in the area of evaluation, which gets several mentions, but little detailed discussion. In an era where effectiveness has marched up advertisers' list of priorities, this may need addressing next time.
Nonetheless, any would-be media person should read it, and learn.
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- Link: http://www.amazon.com/Advertising-Media-Planning-Seventh-Roger/dp/0071703128
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