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Many Annual Reports Downplay Role Played by Ads in Business
By: Stuart Elliott
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'Tis the season – not for Santa, but for annual meetings, when companies that sell stock to the public put their best foot forward with the people who own their shares as well as with potential investors. It's less "Ho, ho, ho" and more "How now, Dow Jones" as firms flood mailboxes, real and virtual, with annual reports, proxy statements and 10-Ks that look back at the fiscal year that was and offer encouraging words about what's to come.

Last year, I took a look at the blizzard of paperwork from a bunch of corporations to see how much space they devoted to discussions of their advertising and marketing efforts.  My rationale:  If ads play such a vital role in the economy by stimulating consumer demand, they ought to get a good deal of attention this time of the year.

Alas, it turned out that wasn't so much the case, as dry financial recaps from CFOs were more common than business insights from CMOs – and after reading through documents from a dozen companies sent out for the 2017 annual report season, I'm sorry to say it's happened again.  Too often, advertising is relegated to a brief mention in a section devoted to "selling, general and administrative expenses."

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About the Author
This content was originally published on MediaVillage by Stuart Elliott. A link to the original piece appears after the post. https://www.mediavillage.com
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