Papers fail to combat bad press advertising

Maureen Duffy, the chief executive of the Newspaper Marketing Agency, is claiming that a lack of understanding among creatives is turning advertisers away from the newspaper medium.

In a series of presentations based on NMA research and given to media agencies, she said creatives are driven by a desire for fame and that this prejudiced them against producing good press campaigns in favour of creating TV work.

The research was distributed to media agencies in advance of an NMA announcement of its manifesto, scheduled for next week.

She claimed the research showed that creatives resist newspapers as a main medium because agencies fail to grasp the role of copy and find that any innovation is stifled by a lack of dialogue between media people and creatives. The study also acknowledged that newspapers are not stimulating greater creativity.

Along with the problems with creative work, Duffy listed a number of issues newspapers would have to face if they were to remain on the agenda.

The media industry's obsession with cost efficiency and received wisdom was also hampering the development of the medium. Duffy said that media choices are often pre-set due to historical use, prejudices and the "ego of advertiser management". She promised that the NMA would address the stature and perception of newspapers with clients to counter this.

Duffy called for greater investment in independent research as existing methodology is considered inadequate and out-dated as a way of attracting new and lapsed advertisers to the medium.

This was a view echoed by Mark Gallagher, the head of press at Manning Gottlieb OMD, who said press trading mechanisms also needed to be reviewed.

"Different sections don't seem to be priced on what they can do. What we need is some decent research into how people interact with newspapers," he argued.

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