While the winner of Euro 96 will not be known until the last kick of the
ball on Sunday night, the battle for ad revenue has been won outright by
TV and posters, which have left newspapers trailing.
The biggest advertisers and sponsors of Euro 96, including Nike, Reebok,
Snickers, Carslberg-Tetley, Coca-Cola, Umbro and McDonald’s, have opted
almost entirely to put their money into posters and TV.
Part of the reason why national press failed to achieve the ad revenue
windfall that had been expected was that newspapers were less aggressive
and innovative than their counterparts in putting together packages for
Euro 96, according to Richard Bevan, joint media director at Leo
Burnett. Burnetts handles media planning and buying for McDonald’s.
Umbro’s strategy was devised to follow the fans, and the best way of
doing that was to go for the high visibility of posters and TV, Anthony
Clifton, the media account director on Umbro at the Media Centre, said.
A disadvantage for Umbro on the national press front was the perceived
downmarket nature of the majority of people who follow football in the
Mike Ironside, ad director of the Daily Mail, said Euro 96 was not a big
disappointment. His expectation from the beginning was that the paper
would not make much money out of the championships.
‘There has been tactical advertising,’ he said. ‘The advertisers went
for TV and poster visibility. To run colour spreads with us and others
you are looking at a lot of money. The other aspect is that we are doing
activity for Euro 96 editorially, so in one sense advertisers were
picking up on that activity in other media.’
In a further blow to the newspaper sector, Vauxhall, one of the official
sponsors of Euro 96, pulled its ads from the Daily Mirror and the Daily
Star this week in protest at the tabloids’ controversial coverage of the
run-up to Wednesday’s England versus Germany semi-final.