Newsworks’ polite plea won’t turn back online tide

More newspapers, this time its newspaper marketing body Newsworks trying to persuade advertisers to cease their gadarene rush to digital/online and save some money for the poor old sinking press.

So it’s signed up agency Holmes Hobbs Marcantonio to produce a somewhat measured campaign, pointing out that it’s news wot gets people’s attention and they spend more time with it reading newspapers and newspaper apps on their devices.

WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell has made the point often enough that people’s attention span is much longer when they’re reading something literate than browsing online. The Internet Advertising Bureau measures ‘viewability’ in units of half a second, which is pretty daft. Many advertisers, notably Unilever, are loudly voicing their worries that a huge proportion of online ad ‘impressions’ are no such thing.

So Newsworks and HHM are pushing at an open door are they?

The rush to online is rather like investing in China. Any idiot could have told such investors that the Chinese economy could not keep growing at ten per cent a year and there’d be a nasty crash one day. But so long as it was growing – however unsustainably – people piled in.

Online’s like that. WPP’s Sorrell may have doubts about some of it but every release from WPP tells you how it’s closing on its target of 45 per cent coming from digital. Maybe next year that will be raised to 55 per cent.

$_35Maybe Newsworks should have signed up Sorrell to make a Kitchener-style plea (left).

Alas, I can’t see this overly polite campaign making a blind bit of difference.

MAA creative scale: 4.


If you want to see how much newspapers are in thrall to other media take a look at this new campaign for the Sun from Grey London. Featured in the X Factor at the weekend, so that’s £200K or so.

Isn’t there a better reason for buying it? Maybe not..

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