The Newspaper Society has been campaigning to increase the profile
of the regional press among national advertisers and their agencies.
It is the society’s aim to increase the percentage of national display
advertising regional newspapers take. However, The Word, a cross-company
sales house dedicated to bringing national advertisers to the regional
press, closed earlier this month.
The Word was launched 11 years ago, funded by regional newspaper
These groups have been consolidating and the strength and reach of their
own sales operations have increased.
The merger between Trinity and Mirror Group last year, for example,
brought together Amra and Mirror Regional Sales to make Amra the largest
national sales house in the country, with a market share of 20 per
Indeed, the top four national sales houses for the regional press -
Amra, Mediaforce, Northcliffe and Newsquest - command 58.8 per cent of
The regionals have increased the proportion of their display advertising
taken up by national advertisers, from 27.5 per cent in 1996 to 29.9 per
cent in 1998. However, this may have slipped back slightly last year as
estimates for the third quarter of 1999 put the figure at 29 per cent,
according to the Advertising Association.
Zenith Media is the heaviest buyer of regional press, with a spend of
pounds 10.6 million in the year to June 1999.
While the regionals’ revenue from national advertisers is increasing
gradually, the sector’s share of total national display has
In 1996, regional newspapers took 4 per cent of national display
adspend, rising to 4.1 per cent in 1997, only to drop back down to 3.9
per cent in 1998.
It is now the job of the Newspaper Society and regional publishing
groups to push the benefits of the regional press either individually,
or by setting up a new collective effort.
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