Edinburgh shows up advertising drought at the Guardian

It’s the Media Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival and the newspaper, which was thought to more or less own the media recruitment sector in the UK, produced a special publication Edinburgh in focus to plug the festival it sponsors alongside its customary Monday media guardian section.

And a proper pair of undernourished runts they are. Edinburgh in focus has all of four pages including six quarter page ads (one a bit smaller), three of which are Guardian house ads. The others are charity-style, so hardly likely to have been paid for at anything close to ratecard.

Media guardian, which used to be a hunky section with at least 12 pages of editorial and about double the number of ad pages suffers the indignity of being six pages (with a loose sheet inserted) including just two pages of classified ads, the biggest from the Guardian.

The others are hardly top of the range opportunities although there is a position on offer from Investec for a £30,000 ‘corporate gifts co-ordinator’ who needs to be able to ‘think outside and inside the box’ and be a ‘passionate shopper.’ Which says something about the financial services industry.

But creative (in the usual sense anyway) or media it definitely ain’t.

We all know that classified has migrated in swathes to the web and the media guardian website has some, although not all that much, of it. And the recession has hit media jobs particularly hard.

But the whole package is looking remarkably sad and editor Jane Martinson might be regretting that she left the FT for it.

Also everything in it is about broadcasting (well it’s Edinburgh obviously) and particularly the BBC, which is hardly likely to appeal all readers with an interest in media. The cover of Edinburgh in focus is all about Mark Thompson’s MacTaggart lecture on Friday, as is Steve Howlett’s column in the main media guardian. A waste of precious space surely. Why didn’t they put Howlett on the Edinburgh front?

Time for a rethink on all counts perhaps.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.