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Following the development of computer models for estimating frequency distributions, media planners have searched for a simple method of utilizing distributional information in media planning. The most popular is effective frequency planning (EFP). However, recent research has challenged the value of the EFP approach. Indeed, EFP presents and enormous paradox. On one hand, it is widely used by media planners. On the other hand, it appears to be severely flawed as a method. This paper discusses possible reasons for the paradox, suggesting that, for all its flaws, EFP addresses the need for a practical, and relatively simple, method for utilizing frequency distribution data. The paper offers frequency value planning (FVP) as an alternative solution. While the basic concept has been well known for many years, it has never received broad industry acceptance. This paper provides a practical method for implementing the FVP approach, discussing methods for estimating the advertising response curve and other key inputs. It provides metrics for both evaluating the efficiency of alternative media schedules and for determining the cost effectiveness of alternative budgets.
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