Magazine article Marketing

Scots Missed

Magazine article Marketing

Scots Missed

Article excerpt


What do Scottish fishermen, photographers, retired people and teenagers have in common? Answer: they can't be targeted by potential advertisers across the border.

Media buyers in Scotland are finding that the sub-groups are eluding them, with many missed opportunities the marketing/media mix. However, the launch of the Sunday Scot last March, mergers within the local radio stations and the impending fight for the local TV franchises should, in theory, make for a more open and thrusting media market.

But at present Valerie McGavin, a director of The Media Shop based in Glasgow, says that press schedules in Scotland rely heavily on the Daily Record, Sunday Mail, The Scotsman and The Glasgow Herald. She stresses that within this tight media structure clients are not able to hit the lucrative sub-groups. "We only buy the specialist consumer magazines on a national basis. You can target through inserts, but in Scotland it is complex, so there is not much choice."

Media buyers in Scotland highlight that to reach Scotland's five million population requires a close understanding of the local media scene, especially at this time of significant change. Every client has heard the disaster stories, when media is bought by a southern-based operation, with no understanding of the differences within the Scottish education, law, financial and retail systems.

Stuart Feather of Edinburgh-based independent media buying shop Feather/Brooksbank says: "Scotland tends to be perceived as just another region of the UK. But if you look at people's political motivations and shopping habits then not surprisingly media habits are also different."

While McGavin feels there is a gap in the market for tapping the sub-groups, she does add that it may not be that sensible for a publisher to try and plug it. "It would be questionable because the print run would never be that large. The Sunday Scot said they could reach the younger audience, but you are buying everyone else along with it, so the capital cost is quite expensive. They talked a good game before they launched, but now we will just have to wait and see."

They haven't gone out of their way to create a warm feeling with the agencies. "Considering the first paper was such a disaster, they have improved the product considerably, but on that basis they expect a huge turnaround in feelings, but with the best will in the world, agencies aren't going to provide them with a living. The paper is not targeting solely that market and it is probably more relevant to the 35 to 45-year-old than to a 22-year-old," she adds.

On a down note Andy Jones, media director of The Bridge/Alliance ad agency in Glasgow says that until the paper provides its first set of audited figures, due in July, it is difficult to recommend it to clients as the trade estimates of circulation is so much less than the paper itself claims.

However, Feather says that the new paper has probably brought Scotland more in line with the rest of the UK.

"We now have weak points as well as strong ones. It has affected rates paid, and like the market South of the border, it is now more open to negotiation before the launch of the paper."

Although deals can now be struck with publishers, Scotland still has no titles where the youth market can be reached exclusively. …

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