The Blogosphere recently volleyed about a study of advertising effectivenes versus placement with sexual and violent content. After days of Googling, I couldn't find any scent of this topic. (Presumably because my short-term memory of where I found the posts was, er, affected by the mention of sex and violence.)
Now that study has been debunked by Iain Murray at TCS.
"The researchers then asked the participants what they remembered of the adverts (for neutral products such as snacks or laundry detergent) screened during the shows. "
Neutral products, ptui! According to mothers-in-law everywhere, bachelors and husbands who stay up late to watch The Man Show don't buy laundry detergent. The former scavenge the stuff they find abandoned in laundromats (there's always a nice little pile of the powder crusted on the top of the washer, just under the lid). The latter leave it to the wife.
Had the study examined the power of sex and violence to influence purchasing behavior for products related to the programming where the ads were placed, in comparison to "neutral" products, the results would have been meaningful. Say, St. Pauli Girl costumes and trampolines.
This was really a study of meta-advertising---how do you advertise, if you are selling advertising spots on PAX TV?