Advertising value equivalency (AVE)
Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) is a measure that has been used in the public relations industry to 'measure' the benefit to a client from media coverage of a PR campaign. AVE's would commonly meaure the size of the coverage gained, its placement and calculate what the equivalent amount of space, if paid for as advertising, would cost. Often a multiplier would also be used - commonly in the range of 3 to 10 - to allow for the credibility factor of news coverage over advertising.
Within the PR industry the use of AVE's has been the subject of controversy and deemed unethical by some of the industry 's peak lobby groups. A number of criticisms of AVE's have been made including that the amount of space a story covers is irrelevant if the article is critical of the client or if the clients competitors are favoured or even just included as well. The use of multipliers has been rejected as arbitrary and unscientific.