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Major Advertising Agencies Once Again Ignore Community Newspapers

Thursday Dec. 12, 2013 4:34 p.m.

Editor’s note: An article published  in the LA Times Friday Dec. 13, 2013 appears at the end of this article. Retail sales were flat for November, it is entitled “Retailers Go All Out on Discounts.”

By HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews

Once again  … tis the season…. to ignore community newspapers.

Big-box stores such as Walmart, Target, Sears, JC Penney, Best Buy, and many others spend obscene amounts of print advertising dollars throwing money at anything they can during the holidays…. except for community newspapers.

And if you are a reader of this newspaper or other community newspapers in the area, you scratch your head and say, “what?”

Here is the advertising agency’s logic; nobody reads community newspapers because they are free, you only read something you pay for.

As a reader of community newspapers you know how illogical that is. That’s like saying I go to the gym every day because I pay for my membership.

Here’s the Readers Digest version of how print advertising is bought in Los Angeles market.

Most advertising agencies are very lazy when it comes to placing advertising for their clients. They pick the top 10 newspapers in the market and the top 10 radio stations in the market; the most expensive advertising money can buy. The agency tacks a 15% commission and that’s it, no hassles and the client gets a “satisfactory response.”

Except when the November retail sales report for big-box stores indicates sales were down 12% from last year.

But the agencies keep ignoring community newspapers and make as much money as they can off each advertising buy.

It is not the fact that community newspapers will not produce results, they will, it is that we are very inexpensive and they cannot make enough money on commission.

I saw yet another example today in the LA Times.

The Times readership is above $80,000 annual income, primarily Caucasian male 30+.  Inside was a Covered California advertisement, which targets low to middle income folks; very illogical buy but one that nets the agency the largest commission.

As loyal readers, we publishers ask that you help us by walking into these big-box stores with the paper and ask why they do not advertise and support our community newspaper. Tell them that we publish more news about the community in one week than a paid daily will write in a year.

If enough readers do this, ALL of YOUR voices will be heard, and the agencies might place us in their advertisingplans.

Remember, Community Newspaper Publishers all over California are committed to bringing you relevant local news, community events and keeping our eye on our local city halls, school districts, college boardrooms, greedy county tax assessors, and the folks who drain our tax dollars at local water districts.

You can’t ignore community newspaper’s impact in the cities in which they publish.

Unless of course you are a big-box advertising agency.


….With holiday spending on clothes and toys off to a chilly start, worried retailers are plying shoppers with an early gift: Black Friday-style bargains extended into the first weeks of December.

Click here to read article.