Advertising for Military Recruiting:

How Effective Is It?

FPCD-76-168: Published: Mar 29, 1976. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 1976.

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Advertising expenditures for military recruiting have increased from $6.7 million in fiscal year 1970 to $96.1 million in fiscal year 1974. The purpose of military advertising, besides obtaining recruits, is to improve the public's attitude toward the military services.

When the services conduct large advertising programs they may be only competing with each other for the same potential recruit. GAO's review found considerable evidence of uncontrolled, duplicative, or inconsistent practices that offer considerable potential for reducing cost and increasing advertising programs' effectiveness. Although no one really knows how much free time is being received, most people agree that paid radio and TV will cost the services a large part of the free time now being received. Recruiting research for the all-volunteer force has lacked central direction and control. Much research done was duplicative while, at the same time, needed research was not being accomplished. The Joint Advertising Directors of Research appeared to have recognized this problem early in 1974. Their reccommendations went largely unheeded, unitl recently when the Office of the Secretary of Defense recognized the problem and began actions to make improvements.

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