ABX measures ads across all media types in the U.S. and internationally reaching geographical areas representing 90% of global media spend. This post is a part of our systematic review of good and bad ads for 2022 by Media Type. Today’s post selects Five Bottom-Scoring Print Ads out of 10,000 measured by ABX in 13 countries. If you are interested in testing or learning more about Print creative testing, contact us HERE.

What Went Wrong in Five Lowest-Scoring International Ads

Looking at bottom-scoring ads out of 10,000 in 13 countries is a sobering exercise. In every case, it’s easy to see what is wrong with the ads, but gauging how much damage they have done to the reputations of their brands cannot be understood without ad effectiveness testing.

The ABX Index Scores could have clued-them-in the day after these ads appeared in-market on the ABX Global Syndicated Multimedia and Multichannel Dashboard, which would have allowed these brands to pull them out of circulation. Since very few print ads are pre-tested, using a syndicated service is more efficient and less expensive for ad remediation.

The Second of a Two-Part Print Analysis

This post is the second part of our Top and Bottom-Scoring Print Advertising series for 2022. To see the first part, “The Five Top-Scoring Print Ads of 2022,” click HERE. This initial post covers the Print Advertising Industry forecast as well as research showing the power of Creative in making Print equally effective to any other media type, and the specific benefits of print.

According to Gardner’s Business Media, combining print (especially magazine) and digital ads will make online campaigns 400% more effective (Top Media Advertising, n.d.).

Bottom-Scoring Global Print Ads for 2022

The ads featured below are among the bottom 2% of almost 10,000 ads measured by ABX from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. These ads were chosen mainly by scores, but also by educational value.

  • Gucci – ABX Index of 19 – Elle – JAPAN

Hailing from Japan, this sad little ad with an ABX Index of 19 against an overall Ad Effectiveness Norm of 100; a Category Norm of 74; and a Media Norm of 83, illustrates how “being too cool for comprehension” doesn’t quite work. This ad was part of an international campaign with similar ads that also scored extremely low: in the U.K. – Four ads scoring 28, 31, 33 and 34; in Germany (one ad scoring 31); and in Japan (five ads in addition to the one above at 22, 32, 34, 37 and 39).

This series of ads badly hurt Gucci’s Reputation with an ABX Index of Zero. The ABX Gender Equality Index™ scores for both the men and women featured were in the far negative range, and the ad below had a spectacular Dislike score of 436!

Now, we DO get it. This ad was only meant for fashionistas who probably know Gucci’s style even without a clear Brand logo (see if you can find it!), Benefit (“maybe” coolness?) or Value (none). But even Millennials scored the ad at 31; GenX at 42; and Boomers at 3. Bottom line, this approach is ego-centric to the point of non-comprehension. Ouch.

Gucci Print Ad Japan
Gucci Print Japan Scores
  • Netflix – ABX Index of 37 – Regio7 – SPAIN

In this ad, Netflix is advertising, Iñigo, l’home rere el Sant, a major production for its Subscription Video Series, but who knew? Advertised in Regio7, a regional newspaper in Spain, the ad is probably legible in a two-page spread. Even so, there’s so much text and a virtually unrecognizable photograph (a woman’s chest), with no benefit message, the so scores below make sense. We also did a Google search of the logo shown in the ad and matched it to the branding of Netflix in Spain. Nowhere was the logo below to be found. Once again, we see an ad scoring Zero in Reputation, and Dislike has a very high score of 341.

Iñigo, l'home rere el Sant print ad
Inigo lhome rere el sant print score
  • DS Automobiles – ABX Index of 37 – RED – UNITED KINGDOM

Look at the gorgeous graphics in this four-page travel advertorial spread in RED, a UK magazine full of real-life fashion, beauty, and inspirational lifestyle pieces. Great title, “La Vie En Roads.” Descriptions of fabulous travel destinations and things to see. However, DS Automobiles, the advertiser, seems barely visible in small text by a couple of photos of the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense, which are included along with travel venues and things to do. Even in full-page magazine format, few figured out the Brand (Awareness 41) or the Message (38), or intended to take any Action at all (56). Again, Reputation scored Zero – and the full ABX Report shows a Dislike score of 257.

DS Automobiles print ad
ds automobiles print score
  • IG (Active Trader Online Services) – ABX Index of 39 – DER AKTIONÄR– GERMANY (AND UK)

The Google Translation for this ad is: “Still analogue? Rely on our powerful and innovative trading platform when trading. (At bottom: “Every trade involves risk. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.”)

We were convinced this translation couldn’t be correct until we saw a very similar ad and message for IG in the UK that scored 38. Sure enough, both ads cite very high percentages (79% in Germany, and 66% in the UK) of customers who LOSE money with this provider. Since the ad below ran in DER AKTIONÄR, Germany’s leading stock market magazine and the number one compulsory newspaper for all private investors, it is safe to assume such disclaimers are mandated.

The graphics and first line of the German ad also seems insulting (“still analog?”) with child-like graphics depicting an abacus and cell phone, and even though the “IG” is prominent, Brand Awareness is only 51, Message is 35 and Reputation is Zero. Perhaps it’s not a good idea to advertise a failing product.

IG Print Ad
IG print scores
  • Amazon – ABX Score of 43 – Grazia Fashion Magazine – Italy

This Amazon 6-page promotional spread in Grazia had definite potential with its pretty pictures. Problem is: the advertiser’s logo doesn’t show up until the bottom of Page 6, so Brand Awareness was at 40 and Message was 45, both wreaking havoc on both Reputation and Action scores. The ABX Gender Equality Index® for the female model is also well below the norm of 100 at 88, with sub-scores showing respondents did not think the model was Presented Well, Respectfully or as a Role Model. The overall spread is colorful and relatively fun, but the awkward poses likely contributed to those scores. Once again, Dislike scored a very high 296. Apparently, the headline, “Wearing the Future” (Indossare il Futuro) with no clear branding or value-add didn’t work so well.

amazon print ad
amazon print ad score

What can we Learn from this?

  • Take care not to “assume” your brand is so important that “everyone” automatically knows what it is. Without clear identification of the brand, budgets are completely wasted.
  • Try to cut down on copy in ads with too much information to clearly convey only the most relevant facts and try to use text that is legible and clear.
  • Remember to make a case for your product in your ad message, to convey a clear value to the audience. Don’t assume they know what it is solely from an announcement.
  • Advertorials can be great deals, but the devil is in the details. Make sure to negotiate prominent placement of your brand logo and product photos. And make very sure the advertorial tells a story that relates to your product message.
  • Be aware that low-cost, simplistic graphics and messages that are potentially insulting to your audience will backfire.
  • Finally, for fashion spreads, use a diverse set of models, make sure poses are flattering, and always put your logo clearly on the first page and repeat on subsequent pages.

ABX hopes this 2022 Print Top and Bottom-Scoring series of Print Ads has been helpful.

For more information: Diane Light Waight, VP Business Development HERE.

Written by: Angela Jeffrey, VP Brand Management, ABX

Jeff Schamel

Vice President, Operations

Jeff Schamel Directs Operations for ABX with Experience from IPSOS and P&G

Jeff has more than 25 years of market research experience including project management, client service, operations, production and sales.

Before joining the ABX Senior Management team, Jeff was a Senior Account Manager at Ipsos, working with Procter & Gamble and other client assignments. Prior to that, he was Senior Project Manager for Opinion One, where he was responsible for guiding the company’s online, mall and other initiatives for eight years.

Jeff began his market research career with Cooper Research while participating in the Professional Practice Program at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduating with his BS in Marketing and Management, Jeff led a team of data analysts as Group Manager at Matrixx Marketing Research (now Concentrix).

Jeff’s broad in-depth marketing research experiences enable him to bring a unique perspective to directing operations that creates effective and efficient environments to support a wide range of client activities.  Having come up in the industry alongside the advent and progression of online interviewing, he has a unique perspective on the benefits and challenges of conducting quality research resulting in meaningful results.

Jeff considers himself an amateur music historian and sports enthusiast, as well as a family man, who takes advantage of the many outdoor activities in his community including biking, hiking, kayaking and swimming.

Dr. Peter Moomaw

Co-Founder, Vice President, Development

Peter is the primary developer of operations technology and data analysis. As a chief visionary on the Research and Development team, Peter works to generate innovative ideas for the continued development of processes and protocols.

Peter brings 17+ years’ experience in software development in the market research industry. He was previously at Opinion One, where he was integral in the development of research software systems covering a number of areas.

Peter has a BA in Mathematics, a BS in Physics, and a PhD in Physics, all from the University Cincinnati.

Martin Geraghty
Martin Geraghty

Vice President, Client Services

Geraghty Brings Experience from Roper Starch, GfK, MRI and IPSOS to ABX

Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the market research space including business development, methodology, product design, operations, client service, analysis and sales. He is a member the ABX Management Group with both client-service and operational responsibilities. Before joining ABX, Martin held senior management positions at Roper Starch Worldwide, GfK, MRI (Mediamark Research) and Ipsos. At Ipsos, he managed client service covering all aspects of the research process including research design. He managed the development and implementation of several brand and advertising measurement programs across a broad range of business sectors, helping clients maximize marketing objectives and return on investment. Prior to joining Ipsos, Martin was Vice President at MRI and was involved in business development, day-to-day management and long-term planning and growth for syndicated and custom programs. He also developed and updated the organization’s operational infrastructure to bring new and improved measurements to the marketplace. Before joining MRI, Martin was a Vice President of Operations at GfK. He managed researchers developing programs to monitor and improve methodologies. He played a key role in overseeing profit responsibility of client programs. Prior to his role at GfK, he was Vice President of Research and Operations at Roper Starch Worldwide.
Michael Alf

Co-Founder Ocucom and ABX, Vice President, Software Development

Michael Alf Brings 12 Years’ Software Engineering in the Market Research Industry

Michael is one Founders of Ocucom, of which ABX is a division, and has over 12 years’ of software engineering experience in the market research industry. As a Lead Software Engineer with Ocucom, he brings a unique blend of a technological background along with hands-on market research experience. Michael specializes in providing custom software solutions utilizing Ocucom’s dynamic software platform to address unique client needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Prior to starting with Ocucom, Michael was a senior software engineer at Opinion One in Cincinnati, where he was one of the principal architects of the OASIS 2 Survey Software Package. He also played a key role in developing a licensable solution to bring to the market place as well as handling the logistics of on-site training and support of end-client users.

Michael obtained his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Greg Tunstill

Co-Founder, Chief Information Officer

Greg Tunstill Leads the Creation of ABX Communications Tools

Greg Tunstill, a founder of ABX, is the Chief Information Officer responsible for ABX’s technical infrastructure and maintenance. He also leads the design and development of ABX’s communications tools, a critical component of its technology services.

Prior to joining ABX, Greg was Director of Network Operations of Opinion One since its inception in 1992. He designed and developed the communications systems that were the core of its data collection networks and was responsible for continuing development and implementation of information technologies. Prior to his position at Opinion One, he designed inventory control and expert systems for BellSouth field offices and worked as a consultant and independent contractor. In 1991 he joined Americom Research as a systems engineer where he advanced to Director of Network Operations and met members of the team that formed Opinion One.

Greg is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Julian Brown

Chief Technology Officer

Julian Brown is an ABX Founder and Chief Visionary for Strategic Planning

Julian brings 20+ years of software engineering and market research experience to ABX. As one of the Founders and in his position as Chief Technology Officer, Julian is the chief visionary responsible for strategic planning and development.

His primary day to day roles include management of software development, oversight of survey production, and lead architect for custom software development projects. As the principal technology architect, Julian adapts emerging technologies for use in market research. He is responsible for maintaining the “continuous development” philosophy.

Before becoming one of the Founders, Julian was Vice President, Software Engineering at Opinion One. In this capacity, he was responsible for the design and development of Opinion One’s core technology and licensing products.

Prior to Opinion One, Julian worked for Americom Research, starting as a Software Engineer and progressing to Director, Software Development. While at Americom Research, Julian pioneered the design and creation of one of the market research industry’s first fully interactive computer-aided interviewing suites.

Julian received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee State University.

Gary Getto


A Pioneer in Measuring Across all Media Types

Gary has an extensive background in product development, strategic planning, and sales/marketing. He is a frequent speaker to the advertising, marketing, and public relations communities.

Gary is a pioneer in efforts to measure and analyze the combined impact of news coverage, social media, and advertising communications on key business metrics, such as sales or product preferences, with ground-breaking work linking communications activity to business outcomes. He was also one of the first to apply artificial intelligence to better understand how communications impacts consumer behavior.

As part of these pioneering integrated measurements, the need to benchmark every ad and build a comprehensive database of advertising performance metrics for evaluating all advertising creative became clear. Gary has been part of the ABX management group that developed the methodology, technology, and criteria for measuring advertising performance globally, and at scale, in an affordable manner. 

Now Gary and all ABX partners work with communications leaders across a diverse set of industries to expand that understanding by incorporating the first-ever Gender Equality Index™, creative measurement solutions for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out-of-country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit™, Gaming, Audio and more.

Gary holds a B.S., in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Masters in Management Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.

J. J. Klein​

Chairman & CEO

Developing Valid and Reliable Information through Syndicated and Custom Research

JJ Klein has devoted his entire career to developing more valid and reliable information through syndicated and custom longitudinal research programs for Fortune 500 companies. This extensive knowledge base enabled him to create and develop ABX, which now offers the most accurate normative database for advertising effectiveness measurement in the marketplace.

JJ brings more than 35 years of marketing, research, consulting, and technology experience in designing and developing methodologies and programs for long-term growth. He has exceptional strength in domestic and international new business development, strategic planning, and identifying and tracking consumer, retail, and industry trends.

Leadership in Top Global Research Firms

Early in his career, after attending City University in New York as a math and science major, JJ joined Simmons Market Research Bureau as a Project Director. Over time, he rose to Associate Executive Vice President. Among his accomplishments, JJ created the first online interactive data analysis and delivery system for agencies, media, institutions, client, and service companies.  

JJ and Bill Simmons then founded a new venture …Three Sigma Research Center. It was here that JJ, Chief Operating Officer, created the first major syndicated rating system for Newspapers in the U.S., which later became the Scarborough Report. Three Sigma Research was eventually sold back to Simmons; Simmons sold it to Scarborough; and then Scarborough was acquired by Nielsen.

Following the sale of Three Sigma, JJ joined Audits & Surveys Worldwide as a principal leading the sales tracking and market share audits for a broad range of retail and service establishments both domestically and internationally. Following the acquisition of Audits & Surveys by GfK, JJ joined Roper Starch as Executive Director, reporting directly to the Chairman.

Creation and Development of Ocucom™ and ABX™

In 2004, as he continued his industry visionary travels, all of JJ’s experience came together as he tackled new solutions for market research in the Internet age. He and four partners founded Ocucom™ and invented a research-proven, respondent-oriented Ocular™ approach to internet sampling and multi-modal interviewing methodology. For the first time, respondents could answer text-based questions within a visual communication world where the computer screen was the interviewer/communicator. Inventions continued such as Ocucom’s PreCast™, the first long-form video viewing solution in the industry.

Also, during this time, JJ’s early leadership in internet research methodology caught the eye of top-tier global research competitors. He ended up designing methodologies for their online survey capabilities.

Then, in early 2012, he formed ABX™ as an outgrowth of Ocucom. JJ had conceived the idea for ABX some 15 years prior but had to wait for internet maturation and online panel/sampling companies to evolve. ABX partners focused on JJ’s ABX concept and methodology by building an infrastructure and a 5-year formative database before opening to the market in 2018. The new company offered the first high-quality Ocular research system for all ads in all media types with detailed, never-before analytics; the first syndicated, all-media type ad effectiveness platform; results in 24-to-48 hours on dashboard, and significantly lower costs. At ABX, as at Ocucom, inventions have continued such as the expansion of the ABX syndicated program into the first-ever global solution, and the first Gender Equality Index™. Solutions have expanded to include creative measurement for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out of country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit, Gaming, Audio, and more.

A Career Devoted to Validity and Reliability in Market Research

JJ’s background brings together an extremely unique blend of extensive experience in designing and developing global and regional longitudinal research programs. His accomplishments include the design and initiation of programs and methods that produce more valid and reliable information. They also include contributions to the market research profession through association membership, speaking, writing, and presenting.

Like Nielsen for TV, Arbitron for Radio, and MRI for Magazine, JJ’s original design for the newspaper program continues as the Scarborough Report ratings standard for Newspaper.  Today, JJ leads ABX as a syndicated and custom research service for ad effectiveness and gender equality, which have quickly become the gold standards of their own.

Angela Jeffrey, APR

Vice President, Brand Management

National Award-Winning Veteran of Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

Angela is an internationally known speaker and national award-winning veteran of public relations, advertising and marketing.  She has been a teacher and leader in the use of metrics to measure communications impact for over 20 years, especially at the intersection of PR and Advertising.

Angela is primarily responsible for all ABX marketing efforts, and for projects that involve PR or social media measurement. She is the primary driver of our collaboration with the prestigious Institute for Public Relations as we develop methods to measure the impact of PR and social media on advertising effectiveness.

Prior to joining ABX, Angela was Strategy Director at Salience Insight, (now CARMA), a global provider of PR effectiveness measurement. Previously, she was a Vice President at Surveillance Data, Inc., an international analytics powerhouse that specializes in predictive modeling. Angela continued as a key leader upon the sale of her division to VMS and helped develop Vantage, with Gary Getto, the first platform to measure the combined impact of PR and Advertising.

Angela graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Journalism and BBA in Marketing.



Diane Light Waight

Vice President, Business Development

Diane Light Waight handles Sales, Business Development, and Marketing for ABX

Diane has 20+ years of experience helping Marketing, Advertising, and PR decision-makers at global brands, media companies, and agencies increase their ROI by connecting and authentically engaging their target customers through Sales, Business Development. MarTech, AdTech, Big Data, Market Research, SaaS, eCommerce, and Integrated Marketing.

She is passionate about her family, entertainment, health & wellness, empowering women, and environmental sustainability.