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Newspapers Examine Switch to One Order/one Bill: Hope to Attract More National Ads by Making Ad Placement Easier

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspapers Examine Switch to One Order/one Bill: Hope to Attract More National Ads by Making Ad Placement Easier

Article excerpt

THE NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION of America is looking into a practical way to establish a one order/one bill system for the newspaper industry.

At recent executive committee meetings, discussion has revolved around ways to change national rate structures to accommodate such a plan.

The change would involve converting rates from a per-inch measurement to a cost-per-thousand measurement, making newspaper space more comparable with other media when ad agencies are planning a buy. The plan would establish a standard rate structure for newspapers to follow, but each paper would set its own rates.

Contrary to previously published news reports, the NAA committee did not discuss removing the national rate differential, according to NAA officials. The committee agreed to recommend that newspaper rates be reworked to correspond to other media rates in a cost-per-thousand form as part of the one order/one bill plan, they said.

"The newspaper rate card is complicated, and it has developed over the years for local retail advertisers' needs. It's not tailored to national advertiser needs," said Len Forman,chief operating officer of the NAA. "We're discussing ways to simplify the rate card, but not setting a standard rate. We want to make it easier to read the rate cards."

Forman said that the plan is a "work in progress" and only "wide-ranging discussions" have occurred. He is unsure when a plan would be ready to present to members.

Forman said the committee, headed by Charles Brumback, president and CEO of the Tribune Co. in Chicago, is basing its one order/one bill plans on recommendations made by the Future of Advertising committee several years ago.

The standardization of rate card structure is becoming increasingly necessary since ad agencies have computerized so much of the work that goes into determining a media buy for a campaign, Forman said. By converting from per-inch rates to cost-per-thousand, the newspapers will save ad agencies the step of doing the conversion themselves.

"We have been discussing ways of how to make it easier for advertisers to buy newspapers" Forman commented.

The validity of the national rate differential has been an "issue on the table for at least 25 years," said J. …

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