Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Retail Ad Biz Needs a Shot in the Arm

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Retail Ad Biz Needs a Shot in the Arm

Article excerpt

Prevailing prescription: Put more salespeople's feet on the street

Calling all ad reps. Some big-name newspaper groups are looking for salespeople to help pump up slumping ad revenues.

The continued slowdown of retail ad growth is a major headache for the industry. Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown media analyst Peter Appert predicts third-quarter ad revenue will increase 5%, down from a 7.3% rise in the first half, because of a slowdown in retail and a falloff in national.

Stung by ongoing consolidation and cutbacks in ad spending among retail giants, many newspapers are turning to smaller and nontraditional advertisers. To that end, the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch will relaunch its community news sections in January with an eye toward attracting smaller retailers. The paper plans to contract with independent salespeople to call on businesses that haven't advertised before.

Charles Bowles, a group advertising manager at the Media General Inc. flagship, has no illusions that small businesses will make up for the loss of big retail dollars. On the upside, he said, "The higher our ad count is, the less one specific retailer can hurt us . …

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