The Newspaper Society launches a free electronic artwork delivery
system this week in the first step of its initiative to make the
regional press more accessible to advertisers.
Adfast, the online system unveiled this Thursday, is the first of seven
key solutions outlined in the society’s ’Now’ report, which was
published in February following a year-long consultation process between
industry and advertisers.
However, a competitor to the planned system has emerged even before its
official launch. The Seattle-based group Mediapassage. com launched its
’artsend’ service in the UK in January, promising agencies higher
quality integrated services for a small fee.
The group, which has operated for three years in the US, claims that
regional advertisers lose a total of pounds 18 million a year by
operating through traditional channels.
The arrival of Mediapassage and AdvertExpress, which launched a media
space exchange aimed at small- to medium-sized businesses this month,
raises the possibility that online ad distribution will be controlled
from outside the newspaper industry.
In addition to recommending that an industry-owned art delivery system
be in place by 2001, the ’Now’ report called for investment in ad
effectiveness research, cross-industry reproduction standards, online ad
sales operations and a database of section information.
’If the industry can deliver on its programme, I believe we will see the
dramatic transformation of the regional press into a powerful and
effective national advertising medium,’ Rupert Howell, president of the
The push has been backed by a pounds 3 million marketing campaign
created for the regional press by BDH TBWA.