Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Beat the Retreat

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Beat the Retreat

Article excerpt


In a multitasking world, experts say newspapers need to step up to the line and show that they can still go deep

These are tough times for national mar- keters. Pressure to demonstrate a return on their media spending is huge. Yet research shows that half the population uses more than one medium at a time, suggesting that marketers may be wasting ad dollars on people who aren't fully engaged in one medium. According to a new Simultaneous Media Usage Survey by BIGresearch in Columbus, Ohio, 94% of people who say they go online while watching TV regularly, or occasionally, tune out mentally when a commercial comes on.

Consumers, in general, are increasingly tuning out marketing messages. They're zapping commercials with their TiVos. More than 50 million have signed up for the national do-not-call list. Demands for new anti-spam laws are growing.

All this means the playing field for ad share is wide open, says Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, an organization representing more than 300 companies that shell out more than $100 billion a year on marketing and advertising. As marketers look for the best return on their ad dollars, Liodice says, "They're looking at almost a zero-based budgeting approach to all media." As a recent Goldman Sachs survey found, ad executives, no doubt fed up with the rising cost and diminished reach of network TV, expect to shift their ad budgets from network to cable and other media.

How will newspapers, the forgotten medium in the minds of most national advertisers, fit into this new world?

Jason E. Klein, president and CEO of the Newspaper National Network (NNN), the marketing sales organization for national newspaper advertising, believes newspapers have some of that share coming to them, given their cost, attractive demographics, and reach advantages. And whereas multitasking is common with other media, he says, "Most people tend to monotask newspapers." Indeed, BIGresearch data show that 95% of those who read a newspaper while watching television mentally tune out TV commercials.

National is the smallest of the industry's three main ad categories, representing 16.3% of all daily newspaper ad revenue last year, but it wasn't always this way. …

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