But there’s another way in which advertising, in its broadest sense, enhances the quality of people’s lives. It funds the media, culture and sports people love and enjoy. Without the funding that advertising provides, much of what people value could face a significant decline in quality; much else would require fees and charges beyond what millions would be able to pay. Some things might even become unviable in their current form.
This report examines the impact of advertising on the media, and on the activities that people enjoy in their everyday lives. We estimate the “individual value” that this amounts to – the value, translated into monetary terms, of the perceived benefits people get from using services that are free or subsidised by advertising. We focus on television, radio, online services, newspapers and magazines, cinema and the arts, and sport.
The survey, of 1000 people, clearly shows that while people greatly value access to these services, they are not able (or willing, when set against their other financial constraints) to meet the full costs themselves.
The Advertising Association estimates that the gap between what people are willing to pay and the true cost of the advertising-funded media they receive is almost £5 billion, which is equal to £187 per household per year.