Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Press Advertisers Lack the Feminine Touch

Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Press Advertisers Lack the Feminine Touch

Article excerpt

The world is awash with media research, but sometimes you see some that makes you sit up and take notice. The Newspaper Marketing Agency's latest work on how women use newspapers and how boring they find newspaper ads should receive the widest possible attention.

It is necessary for me to declare an interest - a hopeless bias in favour of newspapers combined with a limitless desire that they survive and prosper in the face of everything the electronic media can throw at them.

Until recently such optimism seemed like tilting at windmills. As the competitive threat got stronger all you had was incompetent management and squabbling proprietors dedicated to undermining each other.

Questioning the effectiveness of national newspaper advertising was far too dangerous. What if research proved that nothing worked except supermarket coupons?

The NMA, a bold if overdue initiative, is now getting into its stride.

Research into men and their emotional attachment to the sports pages was worth doing. Didn't they realise that for 52% of men the back page is the front page, or how many people buy the News of the World for its football coverage and see the front-page sex scandals as very much a secondary affair? Sex scandals and football add up to a winning combination.

But it's the new research on women that has thrown up some eye-opening numbers. Reading newspapers is largely a male activity, isn't it? Apart maybe from the Daily Mail.

Yet the research throws up high numbers for the relationship between women and their papers. For 87%, reading the paper gives them facts to use in conversation, and 81% store away things they have read for later use. No less than 92% say that newspapers keep them informed about things that interest them.

What is equally remarkable is the extent to which women concentrate on what they are reading. More than 80% say that they deliberately set time aside to read the paper - what amounts to a 'purposeful pleasure'. These strange creatures seem to read the front page and the international news.

And more than 80% have had a close relationship with a paper for 'several years' or 'as long as I can remember'.

The bad news for the advertising industry is women believe newspaper ads are boring and not aimed at them. …

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