Study: $450M Or More In Co-Op Dollars Going Untapped By Digital

September 7, 2012 by Dave Haynes

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has issued an interesting white paper about the big chunk of money being left on the table each year by brands and the people who control brand dollars who don’t want to put so-called co-op money into digital.

It’s virtually impossible to quantify the amount of co-op advertising dollars available in online channels, says the paper, but it is safe to say it currently hovers at more than $1 billion. A recent study by Borrell Associates (Online Co-Op Advertising, May 2012) estimates the online co-op market currently has $1.7 billion available, but guesses $450 million is left on the table “for lack of participation.”

Couple this with the majority of co-op programs that preclude allocating spend to digital channels, and the potential value of this market could very quickly exceed $5 to $10 billion per year.


Now this report is entirely written by and for online digital, NOT in-store digital. But the issues and opportunities are pretty much the same. It’s almost funny to read assertions that online is where people now spend their time and that marketing is therefore closer to the consumer’s decision point. In-store, is logically, much closer to the actual buying decision moment.

The report is worth a read through if you want to try to understand a little more about how co-op advertising works and the many stumbling blocks that get in the way of tapping that money. Those companies that see in-store digital as a powerful way to promote and drive purchases on goods actually sold in those aisles have long wanted to get at co-op dollars, but it’s in no way easy to pull off.

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