Agency Concerns Over Newspaper Advertising
The two main sources of income for newspapers have both reached near all-time
highs. Combined subscriptions to daily and weekly newspapers have increased to
137 million in 1996 (NAA, 1999). Advertising revenues have risen as well,
increasing by 7% in 1997 (Coen, 1998).
Newspaper executives nonetheless are concerned. Newspaper readership has not
kept pace with increases in the U.S. population. Thus, while readership has
increased, penetration -- or the percentage of the households that subscribe to
a newspaper -- has not.
Similar concerns surround advertising revenue. While ad revenue is growing,
newspapers are losing ground to television on the percentage of advertising
revenue the two media attract. This has reached the point where television now
receives a higher percentage of ad revenue than do newspapers. Thus, while ad
revenue is on the upswing, reliance on newspaper advertising is declining
The reasons behind this decreased reliance on newspaper advertising is the
focus of the present study. A national mail survey of advertising executives
examines the extent to which agencies are decreasing their reliance on newspaper
advertising and asks the executives to rate several concerns that have been
identified as some of the reasons for this decreasing reliance. Further, we
compare the concerns across those agencies that have reduced their reliance on
newspaper advertising, those that have increased their reliance on newspaper
advertising and those that have not changed their reliance. Thus, we will look
at whether certain concerns are more significant with advertising agencies that
are actually decreasing their reliance on newspaper advertising. Finally, we
compare concerns across large, medium and small ad agencies.
The results could have far-reaching implications for the newspaper industry.
Responses may identify problems with the image of newspapers and potential
shortcomings of the use of newspapers as an advertising vehicle. In addition,
the results could point to areas that the newspaper industry will need to
address if it wants to reclaim the leadership position in advertising revenue.
Newspapers provide an important source of information about the key issues and
events of the day. Attracting increased advertising revenue will ensure that
newspapers will continue to survive to provide this important service to members
Since 1993, U.S. newspaper advertising revenues have steadily increased, fueled
by a robust American economy. The good news is that revenue is expected to
continue to grow through the year 2000, with the millennium bringing in even
more advertising spending (Jones, 1997). More specific reasons cited for this
growth include: expanded classified advertising sales growing at an average
annual rate of 10%; increased national advertising as a result of new product
introductions; and improvements in rate and sales management programs provided
by large newspaper organizations such as Gannett (Jones, 1997).
In spite of this resurgence and in spite of being the largest advertising
revenue shareholding medium for decades, newspapers have recently fallen behind
a relative newcomer, television. In 1997, television passed newspapers to
establish primacy in advertising spending. Even though newspapers were inched
out by only a small margin, this gap is widening as television continues its
move into the future with a 1997 share of 23.8% to newspapers' share of 22.2%.
Thus, while the raw dollar figures spent on newspaper advertising are
increasing, editors are concerned that newspapers are getting a smaller
percentage of advertising revenue.
The decline in reliance of newspaper advertising can be traced back to
developments from two decades ago. Beginning in the 1970s when technology began
to change the face of media, newspaper companies with high capital improvement
and unionized labor costs fell behind when all other media were profiting.
Media that had depended upon technology from their beginnings, such as
television and direct mail, were able to reap sizable rewards during the roaring
'80s. By the early 1990s, national advertising had faded from its position as a
major contributor to most newspapers' bottom line, and local advertising began
to sustain newspapers' first-place position in advertising spending (Cassino,
This led an industry leader, Cathleen Black, CEO of the Newspaper Association
of American, to remind the Advertising Research Foundation that newspaper
readership was on the rise, with 115 million readers in 1993 compared to 113
million in 1991 (Kerwin, 1993a). And on any Sunday morning, more than
two-thirds of the adult population read a newspaper.
Aware of newspapers' current situation, Black also urged newspaper executives
to respond to advertisers' concerns by creating a national newspaper network.
She cited several "inextricably linked" obstacles affecting newspaper sales
efforts and the continual decline in newspapers' share of advertising dollars.
Among the concerns were: negative perceptions that advertisers and agencies hold
toward newspapers as a medium; young media buyers' lack of experience with
newspapers and potential bias against them when choosing a medium; the
well-publicized decline in readership which suggests a dying medium; and
collective negative perceptions causing newspapers to be eliminated from
consideration for national advertisers.
Black didn't assign all of the responsibility to advertisers' perceptions or
advertising agency bias, however. She also mentioned newspaper industry issues,
such as the lack of invoice and rate card standardization, the absence of a "one
order, one bill" system and the shift in retail advertising with new marketplace
entrants like warehouse clubs, which are not heavy users of newspaper
advertising (Kerwin, 1993a)
Questions raised by the issues plaguing the newspaper industry have been
examined in a number of studies.
One study (King, Reid and Morrison, 1997) examined advertising practitioners'
opinions about newspapers as an advertising medium for national accounts. This
study surveyed media specialists in the top 200 U. S. advertising agencies to
find out what they thought of newspapers as a medium for national advertising.
Agencies represented in the study ranged from less than $75 million to more than
$300 million in 1993 domestic billing.
Results showed newspapers coming in second to last, only ahead of billboards,
when rated for effectiveness on factors used to select media for national
accounts. Network television was judged the most effective medium for national
advertising accounts by 87% of the respondents in the study (King, Reid and
Morrison, 1997). Media specialists' backgrounds, including personal use of or
non-use of newspapers, did not affect their judgments about newspapers as a
Amid many negative perceptions, newspapers were perceived to be more effective
when compared to others as a secondary medium, for coordination of promotion
with image advertising and as a vehicle for complex sales messages. Newspapers
were judged low on their ability to meet cost, efficiently target a market or
offer opportunities for creative execution. Also, media specialists were
interested in having the newspaper industry look for ways to increase the
medium's targeting abilities.
One potential problem with the King et al. (1997) study was the low level of
use of newspaper as an advertising medium among agencies included in the sample.
Only a fourth of the sample worked for agencies that placed more than 15% of
their national billings in newspapers, while almost half (44%) of the
respondents worked for agencies where national newspaper billings were less than
Although King et al. (1997) found newspapers were perceived to be a less
effective vehicle than network television when it comes to producing sales,
share or trial results, Tolley (1993) found newspaper advertisements to be
effective in actual application. In a study examining the effects of newspaper
advertisements on national brands, Tolley conducted a split-run experiment
testing previously untested, non-promotional, color ads for four packaged good
products. Results were based on scanner data collected on newspaper subscribers
shopping at a city's major supermarket.
This study found untested, small newspaper, Run-Of-Paper image ads provided
strong support for newspapers as a medium for branding. Three of the four ads
increased both sales and share of market significantly. Brand trial increased
20% by non-users of one of the tested products. Overall, the four ads produced
a 10% increase in sales. Even with evidence suggesting the effectiveness of
newspaper advertising for national brands, however, it is still local
advertising that has sustained the medium during difficult times.
Local businesses and merchants use a variety of media in their advertising, and
they rely heavily on daily newspaper advertising, according to Nowak, Cameron
and Krugman (1993). In this study, 77% of the sample used daily newspapers as a
medium. This medium accounted for 43% of their budget compared to 27% for
radio, 26% for weekly newspapers, 23% for television, and 23% for outdoor.
Opposing the myth that local advertisers choose the medium based on cost, this
study provided evidence that local decision-makers are most influenced by
audience factors that support advertising as a good investment.
An understanding of the difficulties surrounding the image of newspapers among
advertising agency personnel led former agency executive Ray Gaulke, vice
president of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, to encourage newspaper
advertising representatives to "take on more responsibility ... be tough with
clients," and " tell them when they are doing things wrong." He blamed the
newspaper industry's slowness to change and its inflexibility and stodginess on
the declining image and use of newspapers among national advertisers (Gaulke,
1992). Echoing Cathleen Black, Gaulke called for more realistic pricing and a
"one order, one bill" system.
The newspaper industry, having responded to these concerns with price
packaging, has allayed some of the advertising agencies' resistance to choosing
newspapers as a medium (Jones, 1997). But other issues have not been adequately
addressed. Among these findings and observations, one consistent thread
emerges: the recognition that newspapers need to be more specifically targeted
(Kerwin, 1993a; Kerwin, 1993b; King, et al. 1993; Nowak, et al. 1993; Prater, et
al. 1994). Thus, some have called for newspapers to more thoroughly explore
marketing segmentation -- to produce differing editions for different segments
of readers (Sabolik, 1989).
The concept of marketing segmentation was first introduced by marketing
theorist Wendell R. Smith (Smith, 1956). The newspaper industry has not been the
only industry late to adopt this concept. "While it may not exactly be news,
public relations practitioners and media representatives alike agree that this
trend, which began in the 1970s, has contributed to nearly every major
development in the print media in this decade and will continue to do so in the
next (Sabolik, 1989)."
Target marketing becomes even more relevant as media choices splinter. The
task of the media specialist becomes that of media strategist as they have to
"identify which media vehicles attract which consumers, and what media patterns
those consumers follow through a day or week or month," commented Keith
Reinhard, chairman and CEO of DDB Needham Worldwide (Townsend, 1988).
While some regions draw more advertising dollars targeted to the resident
population than others, Mike Drexler, a senior advertising executive from
Bozell/NYC, said, "I have never seen any advertiser spend in terms of
population. They only spend in terms of sales potential for their products
(Cassino, 1994)." To increase value, newspapers should prioritize target
segments within the mass market (Prater, et al. 1994).
This wake-up call for the newspaper industry was particularly timely in light
of the advancements being made by another new medium, the Internet. With
subscribers joining one advertising driven, free Internet access service --
NetZero -- at the rate of one every 13.5 seconds, newspapers cannot afford to
ignore the value of specific targeting anymore (InfoSeek News, March 17, 1999).
NetZero is being promoted as "the first company to provide consumers nationwide
completely free Internet access and e-mail while offering advertisers the most
sophisticated targeting capabilities available today."
Additionally, NetZero's revenue will be generated through advertising and
e-commerce sponsorships. Some of that advertising will come from national
advertisers, ranging from Avis to MetLife, which have already begun to localize
their marketing using local web sites. Localized, national ads account for
about 10% of the revenue for local web sites (Kelsey Group, 1999). But this is
expected to change. "By 2003, however, The Kelsey Group forecasts that localized
national ads will represent 30 percent of local revenues or between $450 million
and $550 million."
Microsoft is only one of many corporations observing the Internet shift from a
global to a local focus. Microsoft, for example, has begun to invest heavily in
its "Sidewalk web sites." These sites, targeted toward local residents, do not
have newspapers' shortcoming of limited pages. Bill Gates plans on having
Sidewalk web sites available in five major U.S. cities by the end of 1999.
Clearly, then, the newspaper industry faces several pressures as it seeks to
maintain or increase current levels of advertising revenue. There is pressure
as a result of the newspaper industry being in the mature phase of its
lifecycle. Because of the industry's age, infrastructure problems with
out-of-date systems have caused newspapers to be less flexible than other media.
One example of this inflexibility is the fee structure used to charge national
advertisers. Another related problem is the misperception held by advertising
agency personnel surrounding newspapers' ability to affect sales, share and
trial for national advertisers. Pressures also are emerging from new media,
which are gaining users at a phenomenal rate and are flexible enough to address
very specific target audiences.
Considering these pressures, this study examines senior account management
personnel's perceptions and behavior toward newspaper advertising as a medium.
The present study addresses four research questions.
RQ1: To what extent are advertising agencies decreasing their reliance on
Previous research has found that agencies are decreasing their reliance on
newspaper advertising (King, et al., 1997). Our survey examines the degree to
which newspapers should be concerned about this trend.
RQ2: What are the main reasons that some agencies are decreasing their reliance
on newspaper advertising?
Our survey asks agency executives to rate the significance of several concerns
regarding newspaper advertising. The concerns range from the high cost of
newspaper advertising to whether their agencies view newspapers as an
old-fashioned medium. This series of concerns, then, could identify areas that
newspapers should address if they wish to attract advertising clients.
RQ3: Do agencies that have decreased their reliance on newspaper advertising
have concerns that differ from those of agencies that have not changed their
reliance on newspaper advertising or from those of agencies that have increased
their reliance on newspaper advertising?
Agencies that rely on newspaper advertising to differing degrees are likely
view newspapers differently as well. Differences across these agencies could
highlight important concerns that newspapers will need to address in the future
if they hope to stem the tide of decreasing reliance on newspaper advertising.
RQ4: Do concerns about newspaper advertising vary among large, medium and small
Larger agencies are especially important for newspapers. These agencies, with
higher gross billings, offer the potential for more revenue for newspapers than
do medium and small agencies. Thus, concerns of large agencies again could
highlight areas that newspapers need to address.
Data for this study were collected through a mail survey of advertising
executives in the United States. Agencies and their addresses were selected
from the July 1997 Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies using a systematic
randomization method. First, a randomly generated set of numbers was used to
select a page and an agency on that page. From this starting point, every
eighth agency that had at least 10 employees was included in the study. If a
selected agency did not meet the criteria, the next agency on the list was used.
Surveys returned due to bad addresses and/or executives no longer at the
specified agencies were discarded for the study. The selection process
generated 432 agencies.
Individual questionnaires labeled "Survey of Advertising Executives" were
addressed and mailed in early March 1998 to the selected agency's account
manager or an equivalent executive if no account manager was listed. A reminder
postcard was sent to the addressees who had not responded two weeks after the
initial mailing. Four weeks after the initial mailing, a follow-up letter and
another copy of the questionnaire were sent to advertising executives who had
not responded. A total of 211 advertising executives responded, for a 49%
response rate, an acceptable rate for mail surveys, according to Babbie (1972).
Executives were asked several questions dealing with newspaper advertising.
One question asked respondents "Do you have any accounts that utilize newspaper
advertising?" Seventeen agencies answered "no" and were not included in
A second question asked respondents if their agency is relying more or less on
newspaper advertising than in past years. Response categories were: much more,
a little more, about the same, a little less or much less. Responses to this
question were used to group agencies into those that increased their reliance on
newspaper advertising, decreased their reliance on newspaper advertising and did
not change their reliance on newspaper advertising.
We purposefully chose to ask about agencies' reliance on newspaper advertising
rather than specific dollar amounts for several reasons. We believed a specific
dollar amount would not allow for meaningful comparisons across agencies of
differing sizes. Is a decrease of $1 million at a small agency less than $50
million at a large agency? Thus, we allowed agencies to estimate their relative
reliance upon newspaper advertising in comparison to past years. We also felt
it was better to ask agencies about their reliance, an attitudinal measure,
rather than usage, a behavior variable, since our other questions dealt mainly
with attitudes. Finally, while newspaper advertising revenues are rising,
newspaper executives nonetheless are concerned because a large proportion of
advertising is going to other media, especially television. Thus, reliance on
newspaper advertising, and not actual dollar figures, is the executives' chief
Next, a series of questions examined potential reasons for decreasing newspaper
advertising use. Respondents were asked to rate the reasons as not at all
important, a little important, somewhat important, very important or extremely
important -- a one to five scale. The reasons were: "Your agency feels other
media are better at reaching target audience," "Your agency is concerned with
high cost of newspaper advertising," "Your agency views newspapers as an
old-fashioned medium," "Clients are concerned about decreasing readership
rates," "Clients are concerned about demographics of newspaper readers,"
"Clients are more interested in investing in online communication."
Respondents also were asked to estimate their gross billings in the past year.
Responses were used to group agencies into categories of small (under $10
million in gross billings), medium (between $10.1 million and $49.9 million) and
large (more than $50 million).
Frequencies were used to address research questions 1 and 2, which examined how
many agencies have decreased their reliance on newspaper advertising (RQ1) and
their views on the reasons some agencies have decreased their reliance on
newspaper advertising (RQ2). Analysis of variance tests were computed for
research questions 3 and 4. Here, for RQ3, ANOVAs compared responses for
agencies reporting decreases in newspaper ad reliance, increases in newspaper ad
reliance and no change in newspaper ad reliance. For RQ4, ANOVAs compared
responses for large, medium and small agencies.
Research question one asked the degree to which advertising agencies were
decreasing their reliance on newspaper advertising. Table 1 lists the results
of our survey. A total of 20.3% of the respondents reported relying on
newspaper advertising much less than in the past years, while 28.4% reported
relying on newspaper advertising a little less. Thus, nearly half of our
respondents reported relying on newspaper advertising less than in past years.
On the other hand, only 3.6% responded that they relied on newspaper advertising
much more and only 9.1% reported that they relied on newspaper advertising a
little more. A total of 38.6% of the respondents reported relying on newspaper
advertising about the same as in past years. Clearly, newspaper executives have
reason to be concerned about diminishing reliance upon newspaper advertising by
Research question two examined the perceived reasons that some agencies have
decreased their reliance on newspaper advertising. Table 2 lists the results of
our survey. According to the responses, advertising executives felt the most
significant reason for cutting back on newspaper advertising was that other
media are better at reaching the target audience. Other important concerns were
the high cost of newspaper advertising -- ranked second -- and concerns over
demographics of newspaper readers -- ranked third. Less important were
decreasing readership rates and clients who are more interested in investing in
online communication. The concern cited as being least significant is the view
that newspapers are an old-fashioned medium.
Research question three asked whether agencies that have decreased their
reliance on newspaper advertising have concerns that are different from those at
agencies that have not changed their reliance on newspaper advertising or from
those at agencies that have increased their reliance on newspaper advertising.
Table 3 shows the mean scores, rankings of the concerns about newspaper
advertising and the ANOVA tests.
Only one ranking differed among agency categories. While high cost ranked as
the second-highest concern about newspaper advertising for both agencies that
increased reliance on newspaper advertising and agencies that didn't change
their reliance, high cost was ranked as the fourth most important concern by
agencies that cut back on newspaper ads. In other words, the high cost of
newspaper ads was a comparatively minor issue for decreased reliance on
newspaper advertising by the agencies that actually cut back on their reliance
on newspaper ads.
Three of the ANOVAs were statistically significant. Agencies that cut back on
newspaper advertising were more likely to think that other media were better at
reaching target audiences, that decreasing rates of readership were important
and that their agency viewed newspapers as old-fashioned.
Research question four asked whether the concerns about newspaper advertising
varied among large, medium and small agencies. The results are shown in Table
Again, only one reason was ranked differently across the three agency groups.
Here, concerns about the high cost of newspaper advertising ranked third among
small agencies but was ranked second by both medium and large agencies.
None of the ANOVAs were statistically significant. In other words, large,
medium and small agencies viewed concerns about newspaper advertising to
remarkably similar degrees.
A comparison of newspaper ad reliance by agency size was not statistically
significant (Table 5). The results suggest that large, medium and small
agencies changed their reliance on newspaper advertising at a similar rate --
mirroring the ANOVA results.
The present study examined the apparent decreasing reliance upon newspapers as
an advertising vehicle. From responses to our random survey of national
advertising executives, several conclusions can be drawn.
Perhaps the most important finding here is the dramatic extent to which
agencies have reduced their reliance on newspaper advertising. Nearly half of
the respondents (48.7%) reported decreasing their reliance on newspaper
advertising either a little or a great deal. In contrast, only 12.7% reported
increasing their reliance on newspaper advertising. Newspaper editors' concerns
over diminishing advertising dollars (Gaulke, 1992), then, is not without due
The main concern advertising executives stated about newspapers was the
difficulty in reaching the target audience with their messages. Indeed, when
faced with decisions regarding the clearly defined audiences of more specialized
media such as magazines and cable television, advertising executives see
newspapers as an inefficient vehicle for carrying their messages to pertinent
The results suggest two ways of addressing this shortcoming. First, newspapers
should attempt to position themselves as a key medium for reaching an important
target audience -- namely, local readers. Certainly, newspapers will wage a
losing battle on attracting advertising for some products -- say, dog food --
when other media -- such as pet magazines, or the Animal Planet cable network --
provide a more focused audience. And newspapers cannot afford to lose important
accounts for all national products.
But newspapers do provide an important source of information that is utilized
by concerned citizens, many of whom work and shop in a clearly defined local
area. Thus, newspapers may offset national account losses by concentrating more
on local clients.
Second, newspapers should attempt to investigate new ways of implementing
marketing segmentation. Concerns over reaching target audiences could be
lessened if newspaper readers were segmented into more clearly defined
The results, thus, show support for a recommendation by King et al. (1997) that
media specialists look for ways to increase newspaper targeting abilities. If
newspapers can target certain audience segments more efficiently, and position
themselves as effective vehicles for reaching these target segments, perhaps
national advertising dollars will increase.
Targeted newspaper sections, however, have met with mixed success. Hawley and
Kreshel (1999) interviewed newspaper staff at the Arizona Republic and the
Chicago Tribune about each newspaper's respective stand-alone women's pages, AZW
and WomanNews. Staffers at both papers expected to have great success with
these sections. The Chicago Tribune considers WomanNews a success even though
the section has not attracted large retailers. This failure to attract large
retail clients is attributed to the "main news mentality" of the big retailers.
Staffers report these businesses continue to want to be in the front sections
that they have anchored for so long because readers know to look for them there.
Advertisers also told staffers that targeting women wasn't enough. They need
the zone editions as well for particular geographic areas.
Concerns about the high cost of newspaper advertising were conflicting. On the
one hand, cost is a significant concern for agencies -- ranking second overall
after only the problem of reaching target audiences. On the other hand,
concerns over cost are apparently not the reason for the decreasing reliance on
newspaper advertising among agencies. Agencies that actually have reduced their
reliance on newspaper advertising ranked three of the six concerns in our survey
above cost: problems reaching the target audience, concerns over reader
demographics and concerns about declining readership. Thus, the decreasing
reliance on newspaper advertising is due more to concerns over the readers of
newspapers than to cost.
The analysis of variance tests point to a similar conclusion. Two of the three
significant ANOVAs deal with audience characteristics. Agencies that have
reduced their reliance on newspaper advertising voiced stronger concern with
problems reaching target audiences and low newspaper readership. Thus, while
cost is still a significant concern among all agencies, the consumers actually
seeing the ads in newspapers are more important for many agencies.
The third significant ANOVA revealed that agencies that reported reduced
reliance on newspaper advertising also were concerned more than other agencies
that newspapers are an old-fashioned medium. This concern, however, was still
the lowest ranking of the concerns by all agency groups. Thus, while this was a
higher concern at agencies cutting back on newspaper advertising reliance, it
nonetheless was the least important concern of these agencies. In other words,
the image of newspapers is still relatively positive among advertising agency
Also a low concern for agencies was online advertising. Of course, this could
change in the future, as more people become wired into the Internet. But the
results here suggest that online communication is not yet serious competition
for advertising dollars.
While the degree of concern with three of the items varied between agencies
that reduced their reliance on newspaper advertising and other agencies, little
difference was found here between large, medium and small agencies. Only one
concern approached statistical significance: whether agencies viewed newspapers
as an old-fashioned medium (F = 2.79, p = .06). Four of the six ANOVAs did not
even produce an F-score of more than 1.0. Indeed, size of agency appears to
have little influence on how ad executives view newspaper advertising. This
offers newspapers some encouragement. Large agencies, with their bigger
budgets, do not view newspapers more negatively than do small and medium
agencies. Thus, it follows that newspapers are not more likely to lose accounts
from large agencies than from small. On the other hand, however, all agencies,
large and small alike, are reducing their reliance on newspaper advertising, as
seen in Table 5.
Taken as a whole, the results here suggest that agencies still view newspapers
positively, and not as an old-fashioned medium. They also are not viewing
online communications as a replacement for newspapers. However, agencies also
appear to have concerns about the audiences they will reach through newspaper
advertisements. In other words, the newspaper product is still attractive to
advertising agencies, but the audiences that newspapers provide are key
concerns. Newspapers executives, then, must address concerns over their
readership if they wish to attract future advertising dollars.
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16, No. 8, p. 44.
Cassino, Kip, "Newspapers: In Deep Ink?" MediaWeek, May 19, 1997, p. 37.
Coen, Robert J., "Ad Revenue Growth Hits 7% in 1997 to Surpass Forecasts,"
Advertising Age, May 18, 1998 Vol. 68, No. 20, p. 50.
Gaulke, Ray, "Laying It on the Line: Newspaper Ad Bureau Exec Says Reps'
Failure to Motivate Is the Reason Newspapers Have Image Problems with
Advertisers and Ad Agencies." Editor & Publisher, April 4, 1992, p. 14.
Hawley, Melinda D. and Kreshel, Peggy J., "Gender Zoning: Newspaper Women's
Pages Reconnecting with Women Readers and Advertisers," American Academy of
Advertising Conference, Albuquerque, N.M., 1999.
InfoSeek Business Wire, "NetZero Subscriber Base Tops Half Million as Consumers
Embrace Ad-Driven, Free Internet Access." Westlake Village, CA., InfoSeek News,
Mar. 17, 1999.
Jones, Stacy, "Happy Days Here Again; The Strongest Surge in a Decade Lifts Ad
Revenue Beyond Expectations - Led by National, Help Wanted," Editor & Publisher,
Oct 4, 1997, p. 8.
Kelsey Group, " 'Targeted Marketing' Key to Localized National Ad Sales; TKG
Forecasts $450 Million Market by 2003," InfoSeek News, Mar. 12, 1999.
Kerwin, Ann Marie, "NAA President Issues a General Call to Arms: Cathleen Black
Says Newspapers Must Focus Their Marketing and Communications Efforts in Order
to Compete and Survive," Editor & Publisher, April 3, 1993a, p. 24.
Kerwin, Ann Marie, "Ad Agency Execs Get a Reminder About Newspapers; Newspaper
Association of American President Cathleen Black Addresses the Advertising
Research Foundation," Editor & Publisher, July 3, 1993b, p. 30.
King, Karen Whitehill, Reid, Leonard N., Morrison, Margaret, "Large-Agency Media
Specialists' Opinions on Newspaper Advertising for National Accounts," Journal
of Advertising, Vol. 26, No. 2, Summer, 1997, p. 1.
NAA, Facts about newspapers 1999 web page, Newspaper Association of America,
Nowak, Glen J., Cameron, Glen T., and Krugman, Dean M., "How Local Advertisers
Choose and Use Advertising Media," Journal of Advertising Research, Nov.-Dec.,
1993, Vol. 33, No. 6, p. 39.
Prater, Bruce W., Wang, Paul, Lavine, John M., "Enhancing Newspapers' Value as
Local Advertising Medium," Newspaper Research Journal, Summer 1994, Vol. 15, No.
3, p. 131.
Sabolik, Mary, "Print Media: Placement Strategies for the New Segmentation,"
Public Relations Journal, Nov. 1989, Vol. 45, No. 11, p. 15.
Smith, Wendell R., "Product Differentiation and Market Segmentation as
Alternative Marketing Strategies," Journal of Marketing, 21 (July 1956), p. 33.
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Table 1. Frequencies and percentages of responses dealing with agencies'
reliance on newspaper advertising as compared to past years (N = 194).
Number of Percentage
Much more 7 3.6%
A little more 18 9.1%
About the same 76 38.6%
A little less 56 28.4%
Much less 40 20.3%
Table 2. Mean scores for how important the reasons are in the decisions of
respondents' agencies to cut back on their reliance on newspaper advertising (N
Concern Mean Standard
Other media better 3.73 1.09
at reaching target audience
High cost of 3.11 1.26
Concerns about 3.09 1.27
Decreasing rates of 2.80 1.25
Investing more in 2.29 1.16
Newspapers viewed as 1.79 0.83
Table 3. Mean scores, reason rankings and ANOVA results comparing agencies that
have cut back on newspaper advertising, agencies that have increased newspaper
advertising and agencies that have not changed their reliance on newspaper
advertising (N = 194).
Concern Agencies Agencies Agencies F-
that have that have that have score
cut back not increased
NP ads changed NP ads
Other media better 4.02 3.44 3.16 9.92***
at reaching target audience (1) (1) (1)
High cost of 3.18 3.15 3.04 1.24
newspaper advertising (4) (2) (2)
Concerns about 3.26 3.00 2.96 1.07
reader demographics (3) (3) (3)
Decreasing rates of 3.28 2.72 2.28 10.90***
readership (2) (4) (4)
Investing more in 2.49 2.10 2.00 3.29
online communication (5) (5) (5)
Newspapers viewed as 2.09 1.66 1.20 10.05***
old-fashioned (6) (6) (6)
* -- p<.05
** -- p < .01
*** -- p < .001
Table 4. Mean scores and ANOVA results comparing concerns about newspaper
advertising at large, medium and small agencies (N = 164).
Concern Small Medium Large F-
agencies agencies agencies score
Other media better 3.67 3.72 3.57 0.19
at reaching target audience (1) (1) (1)
High cost of 3.12 3.14 3.17 0.02
newspaper advertising (3) (2) (2)
Concerns about 3.26 2.99 3.00 0.83
reader demographics (2) (3) (3)
Decreasing rates of 2.98 2.97 2.60 1.14
readership (4) (4) (4)
Investing more in 2.24 2.27 1.97 0.86
online communication (5) (5) (5)
Newspapers viewed as 1.97 1.89 1.49 2.79
old-fashioned (6) (6) (6)
Table 5. Crosstab results comparing reliance on newspaper advertising at large,
medium and small agencies (N = 164).
Newspaper Small Medium Large
ad reliance agencies agencies agencies
Agencies that 29 36 16
cut back reliance
Agencies that 24 24 13
Agencies that 6 10 6
Chi-square = 1.372, p = .849.