This study assessed the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of television, radio and print advertisements to generate calls to the New York smokers' quitline.
Regression analysis was used to link total county level monthly quitline calls to television, radio and print advertising expenditures. Based on regression results, standardised measures of the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of expenditures were computed.
There was a positive and statistically significant relation between call volume and expenditures for television (p<0.01) and radio (p<0.001) advertisements and a marginally significant effect for expenditures on newspaper advertisements (p<0.065). The largest effect was for television advertising. However, because of differences in advertising costs, for every $1000 increase in television, radio and newspaper expenditures, call volume increased by 0.1%, 5.7% and 2.8%, respectively.
Television, radio and print media all effectively increased calls to the New York smokers' quitline. Although increases in expenditures for television were the most effective, their relatively high costs suggest they are not currently the most cost effective means to promote a quitline. This implies that a more efficient mix of media would place greater emphasis on radio than television. However, because the current study does not adequately assess the extent to which radio expenditures would sustain their effectiveness with substantial expenditure increases, it is not feasible to determine a more optimal mix of expenditures.
Keywords: tobacco use, mass media, advertising, cost effectiveness