Amra last week challenged the regional press to standardise the way
in which ad rates are calculated, a move aimed at making the medium more
attractive to advertisers and pushing the sector’s share of national ad
revenue above its current level of 4 per cent (pounds 240 million).
Announcing a cross-publisher steering group of Amra’s clients - which
includes The Manchester Evening News, Midland News Association and
Newcastle Chronicle - chief executive Mike McCormack said: ’If, in two
years’ time, we’ve not seen a significant increase from the current 4
per cent, then we’ve failed.’
The steering group, which is inviting other national sales houses and
their clients to join the initiative, aims to set a standard for
calculating ad rates according to circulation, as well as for
positioning of ads and credit control.
It will also centralise its marketing efforts and co-ordinate selling
activities in areas such as newspaper travel sections with a group
approach to travel advertisers. ’If The Manchester Evening News and the
Wolverhampton Express & Star are running travel features, it seems to
make sense to combine their selling efforts,’ said McCormack.
He is also keen to exploit the relationship between newspapers and
locally based businesses for the larger benefit of the group, using
Manchester-based Kellogg’s as an example.
Amra wants to break down the barriers cited by many national advertisers
for not using regional press, a common one being the confusing multitude
of sales points.
’As the steering group members are senior sales executives, we have a
tremendous opportunity to make the critical difference by tackling
advertisers’ objections with swift and possibly radical action,’ said
The Amra initiative will run in tandem with similar efforts being
orchestrated by the Newspaper Society on behalf of the industry as a
whole. Charles Ross, national development manager of the Newspaper
Society, views it as dovetailing rather than encroaching on his own
activities. ’We welcome any individual initiative which helps move
publishers forward,’ said Ross.
Newsquest, while commending Amra for the initiative, pointed out that
some aspects of the plan - such as a standardised rate for colour
advertising - had already been adopted within certain national sales