From Lewis Lazare:
The newspaper industry is fighting back. Amid repeated claims the Internet is stealing advertising and readership fire-power from newspapers, the Newspaper Association of America, representing more than 2,000 newspapers nationwide, is launching a massive print and online campaign (you were expecting commercials?) this week from the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., to play up the point that the all-American newspaper still commands a lot of attention from consumers.
Before launching the ads in newspapers around the country, the NAA amassed some research to buttress the campaign’s fun creative. Among other things, the study found that 52 percent of consumers said they turn to newspapers to look at advertising — five times more than any other medium mentioned. What’s more, 46 percent of respondents said newspapers were their preferred medium for receiving advertising information. Television was a distant second, with 10 percent of respondents.
The new NAA campaign’s tag line is “Newspaper Advertising. A Destination. Not A Distraction.” The new NAA ads themselves certainly command attention. They are a fanciful amalgam of bizarre images and characters that seem retro and fresh at the same time, much like many newspapers now going through the delicate and difficult process of reinventing themselves for a 21st century readership. The ad copy includes witticisms such as “Everyday we print something that people on the right and left can actually agree on. We call it advertising.”
This is all fine, but why the emphasis on dead tree publishing? Newspapers all have online versions now. So it’s not a fight between print and online. It’s a fight between the journalism of old and citizens’ media. And even then, I hesitate to call it a fight. Clearly, there’s a place for both.