GARY MCNISH - managing director, Amra
Did you expect there to be This is one for Steve Anderson-Dixon
such a backlash from agencies rather than me.
when Northcliffe announced it
was reducing its commission
If the majority of regional Local advertising is key to the
newspaper advertising is success of local newspapers whether
traded locally, what can you buying a car, a house or looking for a
add at national sales job. National ad revenue is, however,
level? growing as key advertisers realise the
strength of the local press as part of
their marketing mix. National
advertising attracts local
advertisers, which is also a great
plus to any title.
How would you market the We market our medium as a local
regional newspaper medium trusted medium with a great
against strong penetration into the markets we serve.
competition? We can offer advertisers anything from
one title covering 10,000 readers to
250-plus titles nationally covering 14
million people weekly.
Is there a strong argument for Sales house consolidation has gone on
one national sales house for for a while now; five sales houses
regional newspapers, providing cover over 80 per cent of the market.
a single point of contact for We work together when the need arises
agencies? to give clients greater coverage, we
also compete in many areas at a local
level. The Newspaper Society also
offers, on our behalf, the opportunity
through them for clients and their
agencies to speak about the entire
Do you think the regulators It is hard to answer this as the
are over-zealous in their merger provisions in the
policing of potential Communications Act are very new.
mergers/acquisitions in Archant/INM was the first newspaper
regional newspapers? reference under the new regime and it
was rightly cleared by the Competition
Commission, which is an encouraging
sign. The hardest part for newspaper
companies will be in pre-guessing
which way the wind blows in terms of
the extended public interest
Which UK town or city do you Edinburgh because it is my home city
most like visiting and and also the most beautiful city in
why? Britain, if not the world (but I'm
What's the funniest regional One of our publishing clients, the
newspaper news story you've Manchester Evening News, ran a story
ever read? last year which told of a bank robber
in Manchester who walked into a bank
and handed his demand note to the
teller - on the other side of the note
was his gas bill complete with his
name and address. Needless to say, he
was quickly apprehended.
What's the best ad you've seen It's always got to be the most recent
in a regional title? new-business success. This week, it's
an ad for Flora, which was a media
first through our Capital Package of
What did you do last Indian takeaway Friday night; racing
weekend? at Sandown Saturday pm; dinner with
friends Saturday evening; mini rugby
with my two sons, Elliot and Callum,
on Sunday morning, and absolutely
nothing after that!
STEVE ANDERSON-DIXON - group advertisement director, Northcliffe
Did you expect there to be We thought that any change in our
such a backlash from agencies headline agency terms would be
when Northcliffe announced it contentious - more for some than for
was reducing its commission others - but given that virtually the
rates? entire regional press had already made
this move some years before, our
decision only really brought us into
line with the rest of the industry.
If the majority of regional We add enormously. Our National Sales
newspaper advertising is Business Development Team has
traded locally, what can you excellent relationships with agencies
add at national sales and clients and we are able to
level? demonstrate that the regional press
delivers audience and reach. We have
been able to attract significant new
business and develop existing
How would you market the When we can get before strategic
regional newspaper medium planners, they are often surprised at
against strong the strength of our medium.
competition? The regional press is an absolutely
awesome medium delivering audience,
reach and response. How Northcliffe
markets the regional press is by
concentrating on the aspects of how
our newspapers are perceived; how
they're used and valued, and what it
is that sets us apart from other
media. If I were a strategic planner,
I'd be thinking "what other medium
might I use to support my local and
regional press campaigns?"
Is there a strong argument for There probably is but, as yet, I have
one national sales house for not heard the argument that convinces
regional newspapers, providing me. Certainly, in conversations I've
a single point of contact for had with agencies, there is scepticism
agencies? that such a move would be beneficial.
However, if our customers felt that by
making such a move, it would generate
more advertising for the regional
press, that service levels would not
deteriorate, and both clients and
agencies would benefit, it's an
argument we would take very seriously.
Do you think the regulators There are significant advantages to us
are over-zealous in their of not being forced through a
policing of potential Competition Commission enquiry, simply
mergers/acquisitions in as a result of the circulation of the
regional newspapers? target's titles, regardless of whether
or not there is overlap.
Ultimately, the ability for us to
acquire overlapping titles will only
become easier if we can persuade the
regulators that the regional newspaper
industry is part of a complex and
Which UK town or city do you The place I enjoy visiting most is
most like visiting and Nottingham, where I had seven very
why? happy years as the managing director
of the Nottingham Evening Post.
What's the funniest regional It's difficult to think about just
newspaper news story you've one, but probably my favourite is the
ever read? one from years ago in the Torquay
Herald Express about the town centre
car park being "Tarmac-ed" with
members of the Chamber of Trade!
What's the best ad you've seen The best ad is the last one that we
in a regional title? sold that got paid for! Seriously, the
quality of creativity of advertising
in the regional press is
underestimated. There are some
What did you do last On Friday evening, I presented awards
weekend? at Westcountry Publications'
Excellence in Advertising awards.
These are known as the "Oscars", which
culminates in Northcliffe hosting the
group's "Oscars" in a few weeks. I
spent the remainder of the weekend