ANALYSIS: Media Track - The regional press must continue to lure national advertisers as share falls

The Newspaper Society has been campaigning to increase the profile of the regional press among national advertisers and their agencies.

The Newspaper Society has been campaigning to increase the profile

of the regional press among national advertisers and their agencies.



It is the society’s aim to increase the percentage of national display

advertising regional newspapers take. However, The Word, a cross-company

sales house dedicated to bringing national advertisers to the regional

press, closed earlier this month.



The Word was launched 11 years ago, funded by regional newspaper

groups.



These groups have been consolidating and the strength and reach of their

own sales operations have increased.



The merger between Trinity and Mirror Group last year, for example,

brought together Amra and Mirror Regional Sales to make Amra the largest

national sales house in the country, with a market share of 20 per

cent.



Indeed, the top four national sales houses for the regional press -

Amra, Mediaforce, Northcliffe and Newsquest - command 58.8 per cent of

the market.



The regionals have increased the proportion of their display advertising

taken up by national advertisers, from 27.5 per cent in 1996 to 29.9 per

cent in 1998. However, this may have slipped back slightly last year as

estimates for the third quarter of 1999 put the figure at 29 per cent,

according to the Advertising Association.



Zenith Media is the heaviest buyer of regional press, with a spend of

pounds 10.6 million in the year to June 1999.



While the regionals’ revenue from national advertisers is increasing

gradually, the sector’s share of total national display has

declined.



In 1996, regional newspapers took 4 per cent of national display

adspend, rising to 4.1 per cent in 1997, only to drop back down to 3.9

per cent in 1998.



It is now the job of the Newspaper Society and regional publishing

groups to push the benefits of the regional press either individually,

or by setting up a new collective effort.





MediaTel’s database is available at www.mediatel.co.uk. For more

information contact 020-7439 7575 or e-mail info@mediatel.co.uk.



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