The opinion ad

31 Mar

Newspapers are in a downward spiral

Every day there is more bad news for the newspaper industry. The New York Times will eliminate its City section, Chicago Sun-Times is filing Chapter 11, Washington Post is offering its fourth buyout in 6 years, and on and on.  Even CBS Sunday Morning covered the coming “death”  of newspapers.

Paid opinions

One area that is fairly unique to newspapers is the paid opinion ad. Usually a full page, this ad will carry the unadultarated opinion of an organization, group, industry or even individual. The target is public opinion and/or lawmakers. We’ve seen “it’s our fault” ads and “you’re wrong and here’s why” ads. In fact, this is a time honored way of getting opinions across without the filter of an editor or a reporter.

Where will they go?

Sure there is advertising on the Internet, between pop ups and banners, we’re often inundated with advertising messages. However, we can pretty much ignore these ads. Only if we are in the market for say, acai diet supplement, do we click to find out more. Opinion ads use the full page newspaper format because they need the space to communicate a complicated message. It’s not about a sale or product attributes. I can’t see how these type of ads will subsist in an Internet-only market.

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2 Responses to “The opinion ad”

  1. Sara Cormeny April 2, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    I’ve noticed that many editorial websites are also adding email distribution to their stable of advertising services, and I could readily see these sorts of ads moving to the email realm, where particular email newsletters that are targeted at specific audiences, would be a great way to get the word out.

    So, the Union of Concerned Scientists could target legislators by sponsoring a particular day’s worth or week’s worth of daily email newsletters, with their message.

    I think there’s great opportunities online, though the general-media sites like city newspaper websites will have to get more aggressively into email newsletters to take advantage of some of them.

  2. Marketing Writer April 2, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    There will be opportunities on line, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you say “target.” The beauty of an opinion ad in the newspaper is that although it targets decisionmakers, it is readily available to a mass audience, who can then pressure decisionmakers.

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