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Flexible Ad Rates Bring in Election Advertising Dollars; Oregon Newspapers Rake in over $1 Million in Political Ad Bucks

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Flexible Ad Rates Bring in Election Advertising Dollars; Oregon Newspapers Rake in over $1 Million in Political Ad Bucks

Article excerpt

OREGON NEWSPAPERS RAKED in over $1 million in political advertising during the fall election campaign by making adjustments in rates and deadline times to meet candidates' demands.

The buys were funneled through the Oregon Newspaper Advertising Corp. (ONAC), whose director of sales and marketing Rick Fryback calls a "one-order, one-bill, one-check operation?"

Fryback claims his survey showed that ONAC placed more political advertising in newspapers than any other state association in the 1992 election.

ONAC, an arm of the Oregon Newspaper Newspaper Publishers Association (ONPA), has been in business since 1950 and has total sales of about $3.5 million annually. The corporation embraces all 96 dailies and weeklies in the state, according to Fryback.

This year, Fryback seated, ONAC was determined to grab a sizable chunk of political advertising, "but when we talked to candidates and their consultants they told us our rates were too high and our deadlines too tight," he continued.

Several ONAC papers met both arguments with dramatic changes, Fryback said.

For example, he pointed out, the Portland Oregonian dropped its political advertising rate from $104 to $53 an inch. A quarter-page, 30-column inch ad was sold for $1,676, compared with the regular price of $3,147.

The state's second largest newspaper, the Eugene Register-Guard, charged $475 for the same ad instead of its $652 normal cost. Other dailies and weeklies made similar accommodations.

Still, the success of the campaign required other efforts.

"We made team calls on each campaign and kept the pressure on," Fryback said. "Each campaign was supplied with research information and prices of what a quarter-, half-, and full-page ad would cost for every newspaper in the state."

ONAC reps also went to campaign schools, where they contacted candidates and their consultants.

Customers also included backers of ballot propositions, who were told they could make single or combination buys, a pitch that drew a $50,000 check from one congressional candidate.

"Newspapers helped by pricing competitively, making sales calls with me, referring business, and, in many cases, leaving space open for late-breaking buys after the deadline," Fryback related. …

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