Closely akin to the cost dilemma is the problem of coverage. Two points are particularly important. One relates to the difficulty of reaching certain sectors of the population with advertising and the other to the lack of information on coverage. In many world marketplace a wide variety of media must be used to reach the majority of the markets. In some countries, large numbers of separate media have divided markets into uneconomical advertising segments. With some exceptions a majority of the population of less developed countries cannot be reached readily through the traditional mass medium of advertising. In India, video vans are used to reach India’s rural population with 30 minute infomercials extolling the virtues of a product. Consumer goods companies deploy vans year round except in the monsoon season. Colgate hires 85 vans at a time and sends them to villages that research has shown to be promising.
Because of the lack of adequate coverage by any single medium in eastern European countries, companies must resort to a multimedia approach. In the Czech Republic for example TV advertising rate are high and the lack of available prime time spots has forced companies to use billboard advertising. In Slovenia the availability of adequate media is such a problem that companies resort to some unique approaches to get their messages out. For example in the summer lasers are used to project images onto clouds above major cities. Vehicle advertising includes cement –mixes where Kodak ads have appeared. On the positive side crime is so low that products can be displayed in freestanding glass cabinets on sidewalks; Bosch Siemens (Germany), and Kodak have both used this method.
Lack of markets data:
Verification of circulation or coverage figures is a difficult task. Even though many countries have organizations similar to the Audit Bureau of Circulation in the United States, accurate circulation and audience data are not assured. For example the president of the Mexican national Advertisers Association charged that newspaper circulation figures are grossly exaggerated. He suggested that as a rule agencies should divide these figures in two and take the result with a grain of salt. The situation in China is no better; surveys of habits and market penetration are available only for the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Radio and television audiences are always difficult to measure but at least in most countries geographic coverage is known. Research data is becoming more reliable as advertisers and agencies demand better quality data.
Even where advertising coverage can be measured with some accuracy there are questions about the composition of the market reached. Lack of available market data seems to characterize most international markets, advertisers need information on income, age, and geographic distribution but such basic data seem chronically elusive except in the largest markets. Even the attractiveness of global television (satellite broadcasts) is diminished somewhat because of the lack of media research available
An attempt to evaluate specific characteristics of each medium is beyond the scope of this discussion. Furthermore such information would quickly become outdated because of the rapid changes in the international advertising media field. It may be interesting however, to examine some of the unique international characteristics of various advertising media. In most instances, the major implications of each variation may be discerned from the data presented.
The newspaper industry is suffering from lack of competition in some countries and choking because of it in others. Most of US cities have just one or two major daily newspaper but in many countries their are so many newspaper that an advertiser has trouble achieving even partial market coverage , Uruguay, population 3 million has 21 daily newspaper with a combined circulation of 553,000 . Turkey has 380 newspapers, and an advertiser must consider the political position of each newspaper so that the product’s reputation is not harmed through affiliation with unpopular positions. Japan has only five national daily newspapers and the complications of producing a Japanese language newspaper are such that they each contain just 16 to 20 pages. Connections are necessary to buy advertising space: Asahi Japan’s largest newspaper has been known to turn down over a million dollars a month in advertising revenues.