Print advertising in UK national newspapers rises for first time since 2010, study finds
National newspapers in the UK are experiencing the best start to a year in almost a decade, thanks to a combination of factors including an advertiser backlash against Facebook and Google.
Print display advertising in the national newspaper market rose 1% to £153m in the first quarter of 2018, the first time there has been an increase since the last quarter of 2010. To put this in context, in the 29 quarters since the 2010 rise, more than half of national papers – 15 – have seen double-digit declines in advertising spend of up to 22%.
The growth was delivered by advertisers targeting the popular titles, such as the Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Metro, whose combined print display advertising rose 2.8% in the first quarter to £77.8m according to research from the Advertising Association and Warc.
In the quality market, which includes the Times, Telegraph, Financial Times and Guardian, print display advertising fell 0.3% to £48m – the best quarterly performance in seven years.
Overall for the full year, the report is forecasting the national newspaper market will fall 1.3%, again the best performance since 2010.
“There is a renewed optimism and verve sweeping through the publishing market for the first time in many years,” said Adam Crow, the head of publishing investment at WPP-owned media agency MediaCom. “The market is a hive of activity from an advertiser investment perspective.”
A number of factors have fuelled the improved performance, including a view among advertisers that they have pushed too much of their ad spend into social media.
After issues including trust and brand safety, with ads running around inappropriate content, multinationals including Procter & Gamble and Unilever, the world’s two biggest spenders on advertising, have been reassessing their spending with companies such as Facebook.
Simon Fox, the chief executive of Mirror and Express owner Reach, said a positive and hopefully longer-term trend was a revival of spending on print advertising by the big supermarket chains.
Supermarkets have traditionally been a key spender for national newspaper titles, but a couple of years ago they dramatically cut the amount they spent to focus more on social media.
Fox cited Tesco as an example of one supermarket chain that had returned to national newspaper advertising with bigger budgets, saying that the “pendulum had swung back” from the huge focus on driving budgets into social media.
The biggest national press advertisers in the first quarter were Sky, BT, Imagine Cruising, DFS and Asda, with a combined spend of almost £20m.
Newspaper publishers have also aimed to put their differences aside to try and promote the medium, in print and digital, to fight back against the Silicon Valley companies.
Recently, Times and Sun owners News UK, the Guardian and Telegraph announced a joint digital advertising sales venture, called Ozone, to offer advertisers more scale to better compete with Facebook and others. There has also been a lot of work developing a measurement system called Pamco to give advertisers the full picture of sales and readership of titles online and in print.
Article courtesy of TheGuardian.com