Adman: Rumours of print’s demise greatly exaggerated

Australia’s most powerful advertising buyers, GroupM chairman John Steedman, is actively encouraging his clients to take a fresh look at newspapers and magazines, arguing print remains a strong avenue for advertising.

Steedman says advertisers have been moving away from print faster than readership, and while circulation figures are falling the negativity around print has been overcooked.

Print, he says, remains a targeted, high impact medium – especially for brands in the financial services and retail spaces.

Steedman blames the ‘digital hype’, as well as a lack of unity among publishers in backing the power of their medium.

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Last year the industry launched its Emma metric, a readership survey that tracks eyeballs across print and digital content to create a more enticing proposition for buyers; though this is still being stacked up against Roy Morgan’s more established research reports.

Some agencies use Emma in tandem with Roy Morgan; Steedman says GroupM will consider both sets of figures for now, and make a call towards the end of the year.

The multinational umbrella agency is the parent company for MediaCom, Mindshare, Maxus and MEC, with billings running into billions of dollars a year.

The Newspaper Works chief executive Mark Hollands says Steedman’s call is supported by a mix of fresh data, advertiser feedback and positive sentiment from media agencies is pointing to a rebound in print advertising.

He points to a new study by global research firm GfK, which found print advertising still has the best return on investment of all traditional media and online banner ads.

The GfK research, conducted late last year in The Netherlands, shows that print not only outperforms in terms of driving sales but delivers better ROI for campaigns when compared with TV.

On average, Gross Rating Point costs for newsprint are twice as expensive as TV, and eight times as much as radio. The impact, however, is so big that newspapers deliver far better ROI, even if the calculations are based on gross prices.

GfK’s panel services measured ten campaigns for coffee, a lottery, an internet provider, diary brand, travel agency and companies H&M, IKEA and Vodafone.

The study was based on a German multinational survey that found of 1000 Australian consumers, 26 per cent said print ads were the ‘most attention grabbing’ compared with TV (22 per cent), radio (16 per cent), outdoor (14 per cent) and online banners (8 per cent).

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3 thoughts on “Adman: Rumours of print’s demise greatly exaggerated

  1. Yes, we really all need to unite on this. digital media has been bullying its way to the top, while rubbishing print media as that’s where it can find its money.

    When you break down page impressions to unique users print would out perform any day. Brand loyalty still comes from respected journalists in publication (be it print or emag) that will never change.

    Print has been around for thousands of years and its here to stay, you just got to engage with your audience at a higher level, earn your keep, know your audience.

  2. Offset to Digital is printing is like comparing Tetsuyas to McDonalds!

    Offset – trained operators, tradesmen, ink & colour experts, know their papers & have knowledge and generally years of experience….

    Digital – untrained young people, push a button and hope for the best…..

    Digital machines still cannot match pantone colours correctly, colour is oversaturated and is not “one digital machine does all” a beat up by the digital machine manufacturers and false advertising … yet no one calls them to account for their outlandish claims… yet they bludgeoned an industry!

    Where are PIA and the supposed industry mouthpieces who we never hear from unless renewal fees are due! They have a lot to answer for!

    The whole industry needs an overhaul and people who have actually been actively involved for over 30 years, should only be able to apply for positions on board!

    1. You don’t apply, you stand for election and any member can do it. If you want to try your hand, keep an eye out for the call of nominations.

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