The regional press aims to increase its 4 per cent share of
national display advertising with a series of initiatives revealed in a
Newspaper Society report titled Now.
Although the regional press is the UK’s second largest advertising
medium with annual billings pounds 2.4 billion, national display
accounts for just pounds 247 million.
The 18 initiatives aim to make access to the regional press easier and
cheaper and are in response to research which the NS conducted among
10,000 customers last year.
The research revealed the most widespread complaint to be reproduction
quality, followed by audience research.
The key initiatives, all scheduled for this year, are an artwork
delivery system costing pounds 1 million, access to planning systems via
the internet, online booking costing ’well over pounds 100,000,’ a
database of supplements and sections for 1,300 newspapers.
Also proposed are a web-based voucher delivery system, advertising
effectiveness research costing pounds 100,000 and a cross-industry
reproduction standards group.
The NS has succeeded in getting all the big regional media owners to
commit to the initiatives and to fund the artwork delivery system.
The NS working party that developed the initiatives comprised sales
directors and senior figures representing 60 per cent of the industry.
These were Newsquest’s Gary McNish, Mediaforce’s Malcolm Denmark,
Trinity Mirror’s John Eccleston, Northcliffe’s Alison White, the
Manchester Evening News’ Mark Rix and RIM’s Mark Soden.
NS marketing director Chris Stanley said: ’The consultation exercise was
the largest our industry has undertaken. This is the turning point and
it is time to start delivering a range of solutions.’
Carat regional media director Julia Bean responded positively to the
initiatives and particularly welcomed the artwork system and the
advertising effectiveness research.
’The artwork delivery system is invaluable,’ she said. ’Many of our
clients are committed to the medium but artwork costs can be high.
Specsavers, for example, might have to send out 400 pieces of artwork
for a national campaign. If barriers such as these are removed, it will
certainly encourage our clients to use the regional press more.’
However, two complaints that featured high on the list that cannot be
easily addressed by the NS are editorial content and poor industry