Alvin J. Silk

Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

Alvin J. Silk is Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. His research interests are in the economics of the advertising and marketing services industry, the development and management of advertising campaigns, and decision support systems in marketing.

He served as head of the marketing unit, introduced “Brand Marketing” as an elective in the MBA program and taught “Research Design and Measurement” in the doctoral program. Prior to coming to Harvard in 1989, he was a member of the faculty at MIT’s Sloan School of Management from 1968-88 where he was Erwin Schell Professor and Deputy Dean (1981-88). Earlier, he was a member of the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (1963-66) and the University of Chicago (1966-68). Silk received his BA (Honors) from the University of Western Ontario, MBA (with distinction) and Ph.D. from the Kellogg School, Northwestern University.

Professor Silk’s recent research has been focused on the economics of the advertising and marketing services industry. He has conducted econometric studies of the effects of scale and scope on the operating costs of U.S. advertising agencies (Silk and Berndt 1993) and global holding companies (Silk and Berndt 2004, 2005). He has also investigated how institutional arrangements and practices have changed over time including, policies governing conflicts in advertising agency-client relations arising from competing clients being served by a common agency (Silk and Berndt 1994, Silk 2012) and  the unbundling of advertising agency services (Arzaghi et al. 2012). Finally, he done a  series of longitudinal  studies relating to changes in the structure and organization of the U.S. advertising and marketing services industry; specifically, the internalization of advertising services by sellers (Horsky, Michael, and Silk  2012), the geographical dispersion advertising agencies in the U.S. (King, Silk, and Ketelhohn 2003), and concentration levels and the size structure of: (a) establishments and firms in the various sectors comprising the advertising and marketing services industry, and (b) holding companies  that own and operate networks of such firms (Silk and King 2013).

Professor Silk has published research on several other advertising topics including the inter-media substitutability in national advertising (Silk, Klein, and Berndt 2002), the position of the internet as an advertising medium (Silk, Klein, and Berndt 2001) and consumer and physician reaction to direct-to-consumer drug advertising (Weisman et al., 2003, 2004).

His earlier work had focused on two areas: (a) developing model and measurement systems to support decisions in the areas of new product development and marketing communications; and (b) methodological issues affecting the reliability and validity of data collection procedures widely used in research on consumer and organizational buying behavior.

Professor Silk's CV

Journal Articles

  1. How Concentrated Is the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services Industry: Myth vs. Reality?

    We analyze changes in concentration levels in the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services industry using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's quinquennial Economic Census and the Service Annual Survey. These data, heretofore largely ignored, allow us to redress some of the measurement problems surrounding estimates found in the existing literature. The data available permitted concentration levels to be tracked for the period 1977–2007 in the case of advertising agencies and for 1997, 2002, and 2007 for the other industry sectors. Firm level concentration, as measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and concentration ratios (CRs), varies across the nine sectors comprising the industry, but all are within the range generally considered as indicative of a competitive industry. At the holding company level, the four largest organizations account for less than a quarter of the industry's total revenue, a share that changed little over the period 2002–2009, but one that is approximately half of estimates frequently cited in the trade press. The persistence of a diverse and relatively unconcentrated size structure appears quite consistent with other research on the underlying economics of this industry.

    Keywords: concentration levels; data; U.S. Census Bureau’s quinquennial Economic Census and the Service Annual Survey; measurement problems; Herfindahl-Hirschman Index; concentration ratios; Advertising; Advertising Industry; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Charles King III. "How Concentrated Is the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services Industry: Myth vs. Reality?" Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising 34, no. 1 (2013): 1–28. View Details
  2. The Internalization of Advertising Services: An Inter-Industry Analysis

    This study investigates the extent to which U.S. advertisers use in-house rather than independent advertising agencies and examines inter-industry variation in such internalization. Contrary to the widely held impression that use of an in-house advertising agency is more the exception than the rule, we find that vertical integration of advertising services is much more widespread than has hitherto been appreciated. Drawing on concepts from research on scale economies and transaction costs, we develop a set of hypotheses about differences in the expected depth of internalization across industries. We test these hypotheses in cross-sectional analyses of data covering 69 two-digit SIC industries at two points in time, 1991 and 1999. In both years, approximately half of advertisers of all sizes operated an in-house agency. Across industries, we find that the likelihood of internalization of at least some advertising services decreases as the size of advertising outlays increase but increase as advertising intensity and technological intensity increase, and is greater for "creative" industries.

    Keywords: Advertisers; In-house advertising; Inter-industry variation; Internalization; Scale Economies; transaction costs; Vertical Integration; Advertising Costs; Creative Industries; Marketing Strategy; Advertising Industry; Europe; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Horsky, Sharon, Steven C. Michael, and Alvin J. Silk. "The Internalization of Advertising Services: An Inter-Industry Analysis." Review of Marketing Science 10, no. 2 (October 2012). View Details
  3. The Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services: An Economic Analysis

    We address a puzzle surrounding the shift from bundling to unbundling of U.S. advertising agency services and the slow pace of change over several decades. We model an agency’s decision as a tradeoff between the fixed cost to the advertiser of establishing a relationship with an agency and pecuniary economies of scale from media services provision. Using micro-data from the U.S. Census of Services for 1982–2007, we find agencies are more likely to unbundle with increasing size, diversification, and higher media prices and less likely with increasing age, larger media volume, and an interaction between media prices and volume.

    Keywords: bundling; unbundling; advertising agency services; fixed cost; diversification; higher media prices; volume; Diversification; Advertising; Change; Advertising Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Arzaghi, Mohammad, Ernst R. Berndt, James C. Davis, and Alvin J. Silk. "The Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services: An Economic Analysis." Review of Marketing Science 10, no. 1 (December 2012). View Details
  4. Conflict Policy and Advertising Agency-Client Relations: The Problem of Competing Clients Sharing a Common Agency

    What restrictions should be placed on advertising agencies with respect to serving accounts or clients that are competitors of one another in order to avoid conflicts of interest? In recent decades, the advertising and marketing services industry has undergone a number of structural changes that forced an ongoing re-examination and modification of traditional norms and policies emphasizing exclusivity in agency-client relationships. A typology of conflicts that has arisen in the U.S. shows the variety and complexity of contemporary conflicts. Cases of conflicts reported in the trade literature are used to illustrate policy issues as well as the spillover effects and resolution of disputes. To cope with these developments, two significant changes in conflict policies evident in current U.S. practice are identified. First, safeguards to preserve proprietary information that function as organizational, location, and personnel mobility barriers among quasi-autonomous units within a mega-agency or holding company have become an essential component of conflict policies. Subject to the protection against security breaches afforded by safeguards, rival clients may be served by separate organizational units that are under common control and/or ownership. Second, a family of hybrid conflict polices has evolved that feature elements of the split account system long practiced in Japan, augmented by safeguards that serve as partial substitutes for the umbrella prohibition on serving rivals imposed by exclusivity. By relying on safeguards and splitting account assignments in a variety of ways among different organizational units within a given mega-agency or holding company that may also serve rivals (or across different mega-agencies or holding companies), clients exert a measure of control over the access of those agencies to confidential information while also offering them incentives to avoid conflicts of interest. Findings from the existing body of conceptual and empirical research bearing on the sources and consequences of conflicts are reviewed and directions for further research are discussed.

    Keywords: advertising agency; competitors; marketing services industry; structural changes; agency-client relationships; hybrid conflict policies; safeguards; Advertising; Advertising Industry; Europe; Latin America; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Conflict Policy and Advertising Agency-Client Relations: The Problem of Competing Clients Sharing a Common Agency." Foundations and Trends in Marketing 6, no. 2 (2012): 63–149. View Details
  5. Holding Companies: Size-Related Cost Economies

    Keywords: Size; Cost; Economy; Business Ventures;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Ernst R. Berndt. "Holding Companies: Size-Related Cost Economies." AdMap, no. 464 (September 2005): 51–53. View Details
  6. Holding Company Cost Economies in the Global Advertising and Marketing Services Business

    Keywords: Cost; Economy; Advertising; Marketing; Business Ventures;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Ernst R. Berndt. "Holding Company Cost Economies in the Global Advertising and Marketing Services Business." Art. 5. Review of Marketing Science 2, no. 1 (June 2004). View Details
  7. Physicians Report on Patient Encounters Involving Direct-To-Consumer Advertising

    Keywords: Health; Customers; Advertising;

    Citation:

    Weissman, Joel S., David Blumenthal, Alvin J. Silk, Michael Newman, Kinga Zapert, Robert Leitman, and Sandra Feibelmann. "Physicians Report on Patient Encounters Involving Direct-To-Consumer Advertising." Health Affairs 10, no. 1377 (April 28, 2004): w4–219 – w4–233. View Details
  8. Knowledge Spillovers and Growth in the Disagglomeration of the U.S. Advertising Agency Industry

    Keywords: Knowledge; Growth and Development; Advertising; Advertising Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    King, Charles, III, Alvin J. Silk, and Niels Ketelhohn. "Knowledge Spillovers and Growth in the Disagglomeration of the U.S. Advertising Agency Industry." Journal of Economics & Management Strategy 12, no. 3 (fall 2003): 327–362. View Details
  9. Consumers' Reports on the Health Effects of Direct-To-Consumer Drug Advertising

    Keywords: Customers; Advertising; Health; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Weissman, Joel S., David Blumenthal, Alvin J. Silk, Kinga Zapert, Michael Newman, and Robert Leitman. "Consumers' Reports on the Health Effects of Direct-To-Consumer Drug Advertising." Health Affairs (February 26, 2003). View Details
  10. Intermedia Substitutability and Market Demand by National Advertisers

    Keywords: Markets; Advertising;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., Lisa R. Klein, and Ernst R. Berndt. "Intermedia Substitutability and Market Demand by National Advertisers." Review of Industrial Organization 20, no. 4 (June 2002): 323–348. View Details
  11. The Emerging Position of the Internet as an Advertising Medium

    Keywords: Online Technology; Advertising;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., Lisa R. Klein, and Ernst R. Berndt. "The Emerging Position of the Internet as an Advertising Medium." Netnomics 3, no. 2 (September 2001): 129–148. View Details
  12. Costs, Institutional Mobility Barriers, and Market Structure: Advertising Agencies as Multiproduct Firms

    Keywords: Cost; Markets; Advertising; Product; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, A. J., and E. R. Berndt. "Costs, Institutional Mobility Barriers, and Market Structure: Advertising Agencies as Multiproduct Firms." Journal of Economics & Management Strategy 3 (fall 1994): 437–480. View Details
  13. Marketing Science in a Changing Environment

    Keywords: Marketing; Science; Change;

    Citation:

    Silk, A. J. "Marketing Science in a Changing Environment." Journal of Marketing Research (JMR) 30 (November 1993): 401–404. View Details
  14. Scale and Scope Effects on Advertising Agency Costs

    Keywords: Advertising; Cost;

    Citation:

    Silk, A. J., and E. Berndt. "Scale and Scope Effects on Advertising Agency Costs." Marketing Science 12 (winter 1993): 1–20. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Cost Economies in the Global Advertising and Marketing Services Business

    Keywords: Cost Management; Advertising; Marketing; Globalized Markets and Industries; Advertising Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Ernst R. Berndt. "Cost Economies in the Global Advertising and Marketing Services Business." In The Global Market: Developing a Strategy to Manage Across Borders, edited by John A. Quelch and Rohit Deshpandé, 217–257. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2004. View Details
  2. Marketing Planning and Organization

    Keywords: Marketing; Planning; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Dolan, R. J., and A. J. Silk. "Marketing Planning and Organization." In Strategic Marketing Management, by R. J. Dolan. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1991. View Details
  3. Questionnaire Design and Development

    Keywords: Questionnaires; Design;

    Citation:

    Silk, A. J. "Questionnaire Design and Development." In MBA Field Studies: A Guide for Students and Faculty, edited by E. R. Corey. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1990. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Conflict Policy and Advertising Agency-Client Relations: The Problem of Competing Clients Sharing a Common Agency

    What restrictions should be placed on advertising agencies with respect to serving accounts or clients that are competitors of one another in order to avoid conflicts in interest? In recent decades, the advertising and marketing services industry has undergone a number of structural changes that forced an ongoing re-examination and modification of traditional norms and policies emphasizing exclusivity in agency-client relationships. A typology of conflicts that have arisen in the United States shows the variety and complexity of contemporary conflicts. Cases of conflicts reported in the trade literature are used to illustrate policy issues as well as the spillover effects and resolution of disputes. To cope with these developments, two significant changes in conflict policies evident in current U.S. practice are identified. First, safeguards to preserve proprietary information that function as organizational, location, and personnel mobility barriers among quasi-autonomous units within a mega-agency or holding company have become an essential component of conflict policies. Subject to the protection against security breaches afforded by safeguards, rival clients may be served by separate organizational units that are under common control and/or ownership. Second, a family of hybrid conflict polices has evolved that feature elements of the split account system long practiced in Japan, augmented by safeguards that serve as partial substitutes for the umbrella prohibition on serving rivals imposed by exclusivity. By relying on safeguards and splitting account assignments in a variety of ways among different organizational units within a given mega-agency or holding company that may also serve rivals (or across different mega-agencies or holding companies), clients exert a measure of control over the access of those agencies to confidential information while also offering them incentives to avoid conflicts of interest. Findings from the existing body of conceptual and empirical research bearing on the sources and consequences of conflicts are reviewed and directions for further research are discussed.

    Keywords: Advertising; Service Delivery; Competition; Conflict of Interests; Policy; Practice; Advertising Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Conflict Policy and Advertising Agency-Client Relations: The Problem of Competing Clients Sharing a Common Agency." Marketing Science Institute Report, No. 12-104, May 2012. View Details
  2. The Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services: An Economic Analysis

    We address a longstanding puzzle surrounding the unbundling of services occurring over several decades in the U.S. advertising agency industry: What accounts for the shift from bundling to unbundling of services and the slow pace of change? Using Evans and Salinger's (2005, 2008) cost-based theory of bundling, we develop a simple model of an agency's decision to unbundle as a tradeoff between the fixed cost to the advertiser of establishing a relationship with an agency and pecuniary economies of scale available from providing media services. The key predictions of the model are supported by an econometric analysis of cross-sectional and pooled data from the quinquennial U.S. Censuses conducted between 1982 and 2007. Agencies are more likely to unbundle with increasing size and diversification but are less likely to do so with increasing age. Longitudinal growth in unbundling is partially explained by increases in media prices over time.

    Keywords: Advertising; Change; Forecasting and Prediction; Cost; Price; Data and Data Sets; Surveys; Marketing Strategy; Media; Service Operations; Agency Theory; Mathematical Methods; Advertising Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Arzaghi, Mohammad, Ernst R. Berndt, James C. Davis, and Alvin J. Silk. "The Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services: An Economic Analysis." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11-039, September 2010. View Details
  3. Concentration Levels in the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services Industry: Myth vs. Reality

    This paper analyzes changes in concentration levels in the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services (A&MS) industry using publicly released data that have been largely ignored in past discussions of the industrial organization of this industry, namely those available from the U.S. Census Bureau's quinquennial Economic Census and the Service Annual Survey. We define the A&MS industry in terms of nine sectors, each of which is represented by a separate 5 digit NAICS category. In so doing, we have sought to redress some of the measurement problems surrounding estimates found in the existing literature. Our main findings are threefold.

    First, in the case of the core and largest sector, Advertising Agencies, firm level concentration as measured by Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) increased slightly but remained relatively low from 1977 to 2002. All of the HHI estimates readily satisfied the standard widely used to characterize an industry as "unconcentrated." We find mixed support for the hypotheses that the ranks of mid-sized agencies were depleted by ongoing waves of mergers and acquisitions and resulted in a polarized size structure. The size distributions of agency revenue have become more polarized in the sense that over time they appear more skewed, more dispersed, and exhibit greater inequality. The share of total receipts realized by small agencies fell while that of large agencies rose. However, the position of mid-sized agencies appears to have changed little over the period 1977–2002, as measured by the shares of agencies and receipts they represent.

    Second, concentration levels in 1997 and 2002 varied across the nine sectors comprising the A&MS industry, but all were within the range generally considered as indicative of a competitive industry.

    Third, we developed concentration ratios at the level of holding companies (HC's) and find that the four largest HC's captured between a fifth and a quarter of total revenue from the A&MS industry, a share that remained quite stable over the period, 2002-2006. These estimates are lower by an order of magnitude than estimates often cited in the trade press. Reasons for the discrepancy are discussed.

    Keywords: Advertising; Mergers and Acquisitions; Revenue; Data and Data Sets; Surveys; Marketing; Measurement and Metrics; Rank and Position; Competition; Advertising Industry; Service Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Charles King III. "Concentration Levels in the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services Industry: Myth vs. Reality." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-044, September 2008. View Details
  4. Economic Factors Underlying the Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services

    This paper addresses a longstanding puzzle involving the unbundling of services that has occurredover more than two decades in the U.S. advertising agency industry: How can the shift from the bundling to the unbundling of services be explained and what accounts for the slow pace of change? Using a cost-based theoretical framework of bundling due to Evans and Salinger (2005, 2008), we develop a simple model of an advertising agency's decision to unbundle its services as a tradeoff between the fixed cost to the advertiser of establishing and maintaining a relationship with an advertising agency and pecuniary economies of scale available in providing media services. The results from an econometric analysis of cross-sectional and pooled data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for quinquenial censuses conducted between 1982 and 2002 support the key predictions of the model. We find that advertising agency establishments are more likely to unbundle if they are large and diversified in their service offerings and are less likely to do so with increasing age and greater geographical scope. We also find a strong trend toward unbundling over time, a result that is partially explained by increases in media prices over time.

    Keywords: Transformation; Framework; Service Operations; Decisions; Relationships; Price; Diversification; Geography; Cost; Advertising Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Arzaghi, Mohammad, Ernst R. Berndt, James C. Davis, and Alvin J. Silk. "Economic Factors Underlying the Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services." NBER Working Paper Series, No. 14345, September 2008. View Details
  5. The Internalization of Advertising Services: An Inter-Industry Analysis

    The common perception appears to be that vertical integration of advertising services is more the exception than the rule in the U.S. advertising industry. This study investigates the extent of such outsourcing and examines inter-industry variation in the use of in-house rather than independent advertising agencies by U.S. advertisers. While the vast majority of large advertisers employ outside agencies, it comes as a surprise to find that when advertisers of all sizes are considered, about half operate some form of in-house agency. Internalization of advertising services is much more widespread than has hitherto been appreciated and varies widely across industries. To explain this variation, we draw on concepts from research on scale economies and transaction costs to develop a set of hypotheses which we test in cross sectional analyses of data covering 69 two digit SIC industries at two points in time, 1991 and 1999. Across industries, we find that the likelihood of internalization of advertising services decreases as the size of advertising outlays increase but increases as advertising intensity and technological intensity increase and is greater for "creative" industries.

    Keywords: Advertising; Cost; Data and Data Sets; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Service Operations; Creativity; Perception; Vertical Integration; Technology; Advertising Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Horsky, Sharon, Steven C. Michael, and Alvin J. Silk. "The Internalization of Advertising Services: An Inter-Industry Analysis." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-007, July 2008. View Details
  6. Anomalies in Estimates of Cross-Elasticities for Marketing Mix Models: Theory and Empirical Test

    Citation:

    Bonfrer, Andre, Ernest R. Berndt, and Alvin J. Silk. "Anomalies in Estimates of Cross-Elasticities for Marketing Mix Models: Theory and Empirical Test." NBER Working Paper Series, No. 12756, December 2006. View Details
  7. On Inter-industry Variation in the Vertical Integration of Advertising Services

    Citation:

    Horsky, Sharon, Steven C. Michael, and Alvin J. Silk. "On Inter-industry Variation in the Vertical Integration of Advertising Services." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 06-025, December 2005. View Details
  8. Knowledge Spillovers and Growth in the Disagglomeration of the U.S. Advertising Agency Industry

    Citation:

    King, Charles, III, Alvin J. Silk, and Niels Ketelhohn. "Knowledge Spillovers and Growth in the Disagglomeration of the U.S. Advertising Agency Industry." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 03-049, October 2002. View Details
  9. Geographic Concentration, Knowledge Spillovers, and Growth in the Evolution of the U.S. Advertising Agency Industry

    Citation:

    King, Charles, Alvin J. Silk, and Niels Ketelhohn. "Geographic Concentration, Knowledge Spillovers, and Growth in the Evolution of the U.S. Advertising Agency Industry." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 01-024, February 2001. View Details
  10. Restructuring in the U.S. Advertising Media Industry

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., Lisa R. Klein, and Ernst R. Berndt. "Restructuring in the U.S. Advertising Media Industry." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 99-126, May 1999. View Details
  11. Intermedia Substitutability in the U.S. National Advertising Market

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., Lisa R. Klein, and Ernst R. Berndt. "Intermedia Substitutability in the U.S. National Advertising Market." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 98-005, July 1997. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Virtual Vineyards

    Virtual Vineyards markets wine from small California vineyards directly to consumers through its site on the World Wide Web. It also facilitates fulfillment of customer orders. The case focuses on the ways in which Virtual Vineyards provides value to end consumers through cofounder Peter Granoff's accessible but informal evaluations of individual wines and through its electronic Internet with the customer.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Technological Innovation; Management; Service Operations; Internet; Web Sites;

    Citation:

    Rayport, Jeffrey F., Alvin J. Silk, Lisa Klein Pearo, and Thomas A. Gerace. "Virtual Vineyards." Harvard Business School Case 396-264, April 1996. (Revised April 2004.) View Details
  2. Pepcid AC: Racing to the OTC Market

    Pepcid management must decide whether to risk all in a race to be first in the over-the-counter market with a new heartburn remedy.

    Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Product Positioning; Markets; Research; Marketing Strategy; Product Development; Decision Choices and Conditions; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    King, Charles, III, Alvin J. Silk, Ernst R. Berndt, and Lisa R. Klein. "Pepcid AC: Racing to the OTC Market." Harvard Business School Case 500-073, February 2000. (Revised June 2003.) View Details
  3. Pepcid AC: Racing to the OTC Market (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-500-073).

    Keywords: Chemical Industry;

    Citation:

    King, Charles, III, Alvin J. Silk, and Ann Leamon. "Pepcid AC: Racing to the OTC Market (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 503-107, June 2003. View Details
  4. Notes on Reliability and Attitude Measurement

    Keywords: Attitudes; Performance Consistency;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Notes on Reliability and Attitude Measurement." Harvard Business School Background Note 594-087, January 1994. (Revised March 2000.) View Details
  5. Note on Statistical Tests for a Randomized Matched Pair Experimental Design, A

    Concerns understanding the conditions under which an experimental design that employs matching and randomization may result in gains in precision as compared to a design that utilizes randomization and independent samples--i.e., no matching. An empirical example is presented to illustrate a variety of statistical analyses and tests bearing on this issue.

    Keywords: Marketing; Performance Efficiency; Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Note on Statistical Tests for a Randomized Matched Pair Experimental Design, A." Harvard Business School Background Note 500-007, July 1999. View Details
  6. Vistakon: 1 Day Acuvue Disposable Contact Lenses

    Vistakon, an independent and entrepreneurial subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, pioneered the production and marketing of disposable contact lenses with the 1987 launch of Acuvue, the first disposable extended-wear lens--a soft contact lens that patients wear for a period of less than two weeks and then abandon. By 1993, Acuvue was the leading brand of soft contact lens in the United States. In March 1994, Gary Kunkle, president of Vistakon, was presented with the test market results for an addition to the firm's product line, 1 Day Acuvue, the world's first daily disposable contact lens. The test market results raised a number of strategic issues relating to: 1) the positioning and pricing of the new daily wear disposable product; 2) cannibalization of the firm's existing extended-wear disposable lens; and 3) the mix of push and pull components required for the introductory marketing campaign to be effective in generating and coordinating demand from both eye-care professionals and consumers. In deciding how to proceed, Kunkle must evalute the risks associated with commencing an immediate launch with an unproven strategy as opposed to extending the test market.

    Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Business Subsidiaries; Business Startups; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Price; Risk Management; Marketing; Product Positioning; Production; Performance Effectiveness; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., Bruce Issacson, and Marie Bell. "Vistakon: 1 Day Acuvue Disposable Contact Lenses." Harvard Business School Case 596-087, March 1996. (Revised February 1999.) View Details
  7. Philip Morris: Marlboro Friday (A)

    On April 2, 1993 Philip Morris USA launched an elaborate integrated program of consumer and retail promotions of unspecified duration that effectively slashed the retail price of its flagship brand, Marlboro, by 20% in the U.S. market. This program represented a major shift in strategy designed by Philip Morris to reverse the alarming declines in Marlboro's market share, which had occurred in the face of severe price competition from discount brands. Given Marlboro's status as one of the world's premier brands and the changing environment of consumer marketing, the date these actions were announced was immediately labeled "Marlboro Friday" and heralded as a milestone in marketing history. This case describes the state of the cigarette industry in the early 1990s, reviews the history of Philip Morris and Marlboro, and sets forth the key elements of the radical defensive strategy launched on Marlboro Friday. Did Marlboro's actions represent incisive brand strategy and enlightened brand management? What were the long-term implications of Marlboro Friday?

    Keywords: Competition; Price; Marketing Strategy; Market Participation; Brands and Branding; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Bruce Isaacson. "Philip Morris: Marlboro Friday (A)." Harvard Business School Case 596-001, September 1995. (Revised December 1997.) View Details
  8. Dewar's (A): Brand Repositioning in the 1990's

    Dewar's, a major brand of Scotch whisky, produced by United Distillers of the U.K., and the U.S. leader in the Scotch category with a 15% market share, faced a declining market among traditional consumers of distilled spirits. Given the growing societal, legal, and regulatory opposition to drinking in the U.S., the marketing options were limited. In addition, drinking preferences had shifted away from distilled spirits to lighter, lower alcohol beverages like wine, wine coolers, and beer. In early 1993, Dewar's U.S. importer, Schieffelin and Somerset, in cooperation with the brand's longstanding advertising agency, Leo Burnett, began to explore the opportunities for repositioning Dewar's to younger adults. Repositioning Dewar's was a necessity for the brand to remain viable in the long term. Its existing customer base was aging, and younger drinkers who did drink Scotch were consuming less. The issue is how to update the brand's image to attract younger consumers. The brand manager faces the decision of planning the strategy for a repositioning or "recruitment" campaign for the brand.

    Keywords: Advertising; Customers; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Market Participation; Strategic Planning; Opportunities; Consumer Products Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; United Kingdom; United States;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Lisa Klein Pearo. "Dewar's (A): Brand Repositioning in the 1990's." Harvard Business School Case 596-076, March 1996. (Revised November 1997.) View Details
  9. Dewar's (C): Exploring New Media Opportunities

    Dewar's is considering employing new media options. The company had committed resources to a new CD-ROM magazine, Launch, in 1994, as its first experiment with new media. During 1994, a number of additional opportunities have been presented to both Leo Burnett and S&S including other CD-ROM "digizines" and World Wide Web sites. Jamie Prusak must now decide how to evaluate these new opportunities, as well as several other lower technology media alternatives, in terms of costs, effectiveness and efficiency, and long-term impact on the brand's two target markets.

    Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Cost Management; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Market Entry and Exit; Media; Corporate Strategy;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Lisa Klein Pearo. "Dewar's (C): Exploring New Media Opportunities." Harvard Business School Case 596-094, March 1996. (Revised November 1997.) View Details
  10. Dewar's (B): Preliminary Results of the Repositioning Campaign

    Reports the strategic choices made by Dewar's and briefly describes the implementation of the campaign from its launch in September 1993 through September 1995.

    Keywords: Product Positioning; Marketing Strategy; Advertising Campaigns; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Lisa Klein Pearo. "Dewar's (B): Preliminary Results of the Repositioning Campaign." Harvard Business School Case 596-085, March 1996. (Revised October 1997.) View Details
  11. RiceSelect

    In August 1994, Robin Andrews, President of RiceTec, Inc., faces a critical decision that will affect his firm's future: what policy should RiceTec follow for supplying grocery retailers with private label merchandise? RiceTec, a small privately owned firm engaged in rice breeding research and marketing, has struggled for eight years to gain market acceptance for its line of premium specialty rice products sold under its own brand name, Texmati. While Texmati is superior in taste to other leading rice brands on the market, RiceTec's limited cash flow greatly restricts its ability to invest in slotting allowances and pull programs. Consequently, its progress in gaining national distribution in supermarkets has been disappointingly slow. Several leading supermarket chains have expressed interest in having RiceTec supply them with rice products to be sold under their retailer-controlled premium private label brand names. The firm's board is divided on the issue of whether or not it should produce private brands for retailers and Andrews must re-examine the growth strategy in light of changing opportunities for brand building available to a small firm operating in the changing market.

    Keywords: Cash Flow; Leadership; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Supply Chain Management; Private Ownership; Research and Development; Conflict Management; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Mary Shelman. "RiceSelect." Harvard Business School Case 595-033, November 1994. (Revised September 1996.) View Details
  12. Philip Morris: Marlboro Friday (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Plant-Based Agribusiness; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Bruce Isaacson. "Philip Morris: Marlboro Friday (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 596-002, September 1995. (Revised May 1996.) View Details
  13. Brand Valuation Methodology: A Simple Example

    Provides a simple illustration of a methodology for making a financial evaluation of a brand.

    Keywords: Finance; Brands and Branding; Valuation;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Brand Valuation Methodology: A Simple Example." Harvard Business School Background Note 596-092, January 1996. View Details
  14. Notes on Stratified Sampling Design

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Notes on Stratified Sampling Design." Harvard Business School Background Note 594-093, February 1994. (Revised October 1995.) View Details
  15. American Airlines' Value Pricing (C)

    Designed as a follow-up to American Airlines' Value Pricing (A).

    Keywords: Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Jamie Harper. "American Airlines' Value Pricing (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 595-037, October 1994. View Details
  16. BayFunds

    In June, 1994, the Senior Vice President of BayBank's Investment Management Group is preparing a strategic plan for her organization's line of mutual funds. Sixteen months earlier, BayBank, Massachusetts's leading retail bank, had entered the mutual fund business by successfully launching BayFunds, a family of proprietary mutual funds. Now management faces a new set of marketing challenges to develop the business further. How can the mix of funds offered be extended to meet changing market and economic conditions, and what combination of proprietary and third-party funds would be most effective in attracting and retaining customers? In addition, management must also find ways to integrate the mutual funds business further into BayBank's core operations and systems while coping with a complex and uncertain regulatory environment.

    Keywords: Banks and Banking; Marketing Strategy; Brands and Branding; Investment Funds; Product Marketing; Integration; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., Lisa Klein Pearo, and Jamie Harper. "BayFunds." Harvard Business School Case 595-031, September 1994. View Details
  17. American Airlines' Value Pricing (A)

    In April 1992, American Airlines launched "Value Pricing" -- a radical simplification of the complex pricing structure that had evolved over more than a decade following deregulation of the U.S. domestic airline industry. American expected that the new pricing structure would benefit consumers and restore profitability to both American and the industry as a whole. The critical issue raised is: Would American's bold initiative work?

    Keywords: Price; Marketing Channels; Consumer Behavior; Performance Expectations; Value Creation; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "American Airlines' Value Pricing (A)." Harvard Business School Case 594-001, August 1993. (Revised May 1994.) View Details
  18. American Airlines' Value Pricing (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "American Airlines' Value Pricing (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 594-019, July 1993. (Revised May 1994.) View Details
  19. Notes on Thurstone Scaling

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Notes on Thurstone Scaling." Harvard Business School Background Note 594-088, March 1994. (Revised April 1994.) View Details
  20. Notes on Scalogram Analysis

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Notes on Scalogram Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 594-090, April 1994. View Details
  21. Notes on Factor Analysis

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Notes on Factor Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 594-091, April 1994. View Details
  22. Questionnaire Design and Development

    An introduction to the design of questionnaires administered in surveys undertaken in management and social science research. Outlines a multistep process for developing a questionnaire.

    Keywords: Questionnaires;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J. "Questionnaire Design and Development." Harvard Business School Background Note 590-015, February 1990. (Revised August 1990.) View Details

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Scale and Scope Economies in the Global Advertising and Marketing Services Business

    Keywords: Globalized Firms and Management; Advertising; Marketing; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., and Ernst R. Berndt. "Scale and Scope Economies in the Global Advertising and Marketing Services Business." NBER Working Paper Series, October 2003. (1050 Massachusetts Ave.,Cambridge, MA 02138.) View Details
  2. Intermedia Substitutability and Market Demand by National Advertisers

    Keywords: Advertising; Media; Demand and Consumers; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Silk, Alvin J., Lisa R. Klein, and Ernst R. Berndt. "Intermedia Substitutability and Market Demand by National Advertisers." NBER Working Paper Series, December 2001. View Details