Newspapers Use Intrusive Marketing To Boost Numbers

Across the country each week, more than 1.6 million people who are not on newspaper subscriber rolls are being delivered copies that did not cost them a cent – but they are still being classified as paying customers, an analysis by The New York Times has found. The papers, which are typically paid for by advertisers, are delivered by small and large dailies across the country, including The Miami Herald, The Wall Street Journal, The San Jose Mercury News and The Boston Globe.
The unsolicited deliveries were made possible by rule changes the newspaper industry approved three years ago. The new rules allowed so-called third-party sales – which the industry once shunned – to be counted as part of a newspaper’s total circulation. Without them, many newspapers would be losing circulation at a far higher rate. In the industry as a whole, circulation has been falling for a decade or more.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. After working for seven agencies in five states and freelancing for several more, I ventured out on my own in 2009. Today, as head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon, I'm focused on providing effective integrated marketing solutions to mid-market clients.