Amra calls for ad rates standard on regionals

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).

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

McCormack.



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

houses.



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