In 1982, advertising agencies published a manifesto on copy testing called Positioning Advertising Copy Testing (PACT). It was developed by the top research professionals in ad agencies who examined their concerns about and experiences with copy testing practices and, out of it, a consensus on basic copy testing principles emerged.
These principles did not dictate specific methodology but provided a framework to guide testing practices such as relevance to the ad’s objectives, agreement before testing on how the results will be used, the use of multiple measures, the number of test exposures, consistent samples and degree of finish between comparable ads, and that measures should be reliable and valid.
In the 1980s there was a renewed focus to study a commercial and figure out how the specific elements in the ad impact the overall presentation and, consequently, affect the viewer. However, these findings were criticized by some as being largely diagnostic and not very useful when it comes to making evaluative decisions.