April 14, 2007, on this blog: No effect
Look at those graphs above and imagine you’re an executive with Coke or Pepsi or some other peddler of fizzy sugar water. Imagine that over the past 10 years you’d spent roughly $1 billion on an advertising campaign only to receive a report like this one, showing your ads have had precisely no effect on their intended audience. You would, of course, stop wasting your time and money on this expensive and useless project and find some other strategy. You’d be a fool if you didn’t.
… [But] abstinence proponents aren’t operating on the same rational basis as our hypothetical soda company. And, unlike a corporation investing in advertising, they’re not spending their own money, so they’re not terribly concerned if it’s wasted.