Financial Times plans £2m advertising push

The Financial Times is returning to broadcast advertising for the first time in two years in an attempt to overcome a dipping circulation caused by the downturn in business confidence and more aggressive competition.

The paper is putting £2 million behind a press, outdoor, TV and radio campaign that underscores its revamp by updating its famous endline to "New FT, new comment."

Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners produced the creative work for the advertising, which will try to halt the FT's falling circulation while boosting ad revenues. Circulation dropped by 6 per cent last year to 473,587, while ad revenues fell by almost a quarter.

The paper has been suffering not only from declining business confidence and the impact of corporate scandals such as the Enron affair, but also from the effect of City job losses, which are predicted to hit 25,000 this year. As a result the FT made a profit of just £1 million last year, compared with £31 million in 2001.

At the same time, the Pearson-owned publication is under sustained attack from rival business news providers such as Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal Europe and The Economist. The war in Iraq failed to stem the decline in reader numbers.

The advertising aims to boost brand awareness of the FT, reminding readers that the paper is unrivalled when it comes to business insight and analysis, and gives the business community an important edge both at work and leisure.

Tim Ward, the FT's UK marketing director, said: "We have a host of editorial innovations to talk about."

The message is reinforced by a print campaign emphasising the quality of its readership to the media and marketing community. A series of headlines on furls of pink FT paper include "Ltd insight, not limited insight" and "If at first you don't succeed, maybe you're reading the wrong paper."

Forthcoming TV and radio ads will also introduce Weekend TV, its new weekend magazine. Activity will highlight research showing that an average FT's reader's savings and income portfolio is £433,000.

BJK&E is handling media planning and buying for the campaign, which will reflect the fact that the target audience is mostly to be found in London and the South East, as well as key UK cities.

Tom Knox, a DLKW managing partner, said: "In a dumbed-down world, the FT is a beacon of quality."

The campaign was written by Pete Kew, art directed by Ronnie Brown and photographed by John Parker.

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