Profit-Ability. The business case for advertising

Profit Ability: the business case for advertising by Ebiquity and Gain Theory quantifies the impact that different forms of advertising have on the bottom line.

Crucially, it has demonstrated this for both short-term and long-term effects, and across a range of sectors.

Download Profit Ability The Business Case For Advertising 2018 Full Report

What emerges is a compelling case for re-thinking how advertising investment should be approached and hard evidence of what businesses can trust to deliver growth. Profit Ability swings the spotlight back on to creating shareholder value. It provides industry benchmarks for what businesses can expect advertising to deliver.

The appendices of the report pull together the findings from Ebiquity and Gain Theory and organise them into three specific sectors, FMCG, Retail and Financial Services, for easy reference.

If you like to take things in via video you can watch the presentation below of the main findings given at the launch of the report by Andrew Challier and Dr Nick Pugh from Ebiquity and Matthew Chappell from Gain Theory. And steal any charts you need from the slides here.

You can download your copy of the full report at the top of this page or email [email protected] to get a free printed copy.

Contents of the Report


  • Foreword by Professor Patrick Barwise
  • The Authors
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction

Part One

The short-term impact of advertising

  • Background: The Danger of ‘Irresponsible ROI’
  • Ebiquity: Data Set & Short-Term Methodology
  • Short-Term Findings

Part Two

The long-term impact of advertising long-term findings

  • Long-Term Findings
  • Gain Theory: Long-Term Methodology

Part Three

The total impact of advertising

  • Total Profit: Key Findings
  • Optimising for the Long Term
  • Conclusion

Appendix 01

Sector analysis

  • FMCG
  • Retail
  • Financial Services

Appendix 02

  • Media at a Glance


  • About Thinkbox
  • Further Information and Contacts

Today’s CEOs and CFOs know that brands are important, supporting short- and long-term sales and margins. They’re even willing to be paid less to work for a company with strong brands, because of the resulting reputational benefits. They understand that brands are built on customers’ end-to-end experience of, and word-of-mouth recommendations about, buying and consuming the company’s products, reinforced by advertising.

Patrick Barwise Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School
Last updated 01 May 2024