should advertising be judged on sales?

In a nutshell, no.

"Advertising is one aspect of sales. Advertising alone can’t work if bigger things are wrong.

Advertising can’t work without marketing being right.

Without pricing being right. Without distribution being right. Without quality being right.

Without making a product people want, putting it where people can buy it, at a price they’re willing to pay.

If all those things are wrong, it doesn’t matter how good the advertising is."

All this goes back to our principle of getting the basics right before your creative work can become effective. Get your bus on time, simplify your ticket options, get your platform staff to smile, keep the bus clean, make announcements clear, talk honestly to customers, ask drivers to say 'hello'...The list goes on.

Then you might get a return on your advertising.

Words courtesy of Mr D Trott Esq.