If Media Planning and Buying hadn't Existed, Would we have Invented it this Way?

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Griffith University


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Communications and Multimedia




Green, L. R., & Trevaskis, M. (2002). If media planning and buying hadn't existed, would we have invented it this way?. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, 105(Nov), 84-94. Available here


This paper argues that the profession of media planning and buying is subject to a variety of forces that operate together to create an over-reliance on ratings and circulation data. Such a dynamic suits the needs of mainstream media proprietors and offers advertisers a sense of confidence since they are dealing with established quantitative indicators. The status quo in media planning and buying is increasingly problematic, however, in the face of changes in the media sphere and in audience consumption practices. What is more, advertisers are hungry for a qualitative dimension which is often missing from raw quantitative figures. New and alternative media offer a way through the impasse into the future, but lack the credibility offered by ratings data. Courage will be required from advertisers and their media planner/ buyers to break these constraints and make optimum use of emerging, niche and community media.