The study was based on an analysis of 118 print ads in food, packaging and electronics trade publications over the past two years.
It found that only 11% of ads offered a customer benefit, and only 9% offered a call to action.
"Without a customer benefit or call to action, an advertisement is nothing but a waste of the marketer's money," said Patrick Yanahan, president of USA Strategies. "Marketers are wasting tens of millions of dollars and publishers are being vilified because of this bad creative in print advertisements."
Also, 60% of ads were produced by an in-house creative department rather than by an advertising agency.