AC Neilson figures validate Tertiary Minister’s concerns on marketing spend
Figures provided to The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) by AC Neilson show that tertiary
institutions have increased spending on advertising and mass marketing by a whopping 103% since the Labour Government
took office in 1999, spending over $122 million competing with each other.
The Minister of Tertiary Education Michael Cullen expressed concern regarding the level of competition between tertiary
institutions in his first speech in his new role as Tertiary Minister yesterday, and made comments on National Radio’s
Morning Report indicating students would be upset if their fees were raised when institutions were spending large
amounts of money on advertising and marketing.
“Students will be pleased at Michael Cullen’s concern about huge advertising expenditure by tertiary institutions. He
now must act to prevent even more public and student money being wasted on fruitless marketing campaigns,” said Camilla
Belich, Co-president of NZUSA.
“This Labour Government’s calls for less competition and more collaboration within the tertiary sector have been clearly
laughed at by Vice Chancellors and CEO’s, who have responded by spending more than double the amount of public and
student money on marketing since 1999,” said Belich.
“There is no academic proof that mass marketing campaigns even work, and according to the 2004 TNS Income and
Expenditure Survey only 6% of students used marketing as their primary reason for choosing which tertiary institution to
study at,” said Belich.
The calls for action come as tertiary institutions across the country are planning to increase fees, some by up to 10%
for next year.
“Students will be outraged to discover that their fees are increasing by hundreds of dollars next year to pay for
ego-enhancing TV advertisements, frisbees and drink bottles instead of libraries, lecturers and computers,” said Andrew
Kirton, Co-president of NZUSA.
“Increasing fees leads to increased student debt for students and graduates which we know is detrimental for the whole
of New Zealand society,” said Kirton.