The Irish Independent reports that Irish newspaper advertising revenue is up 1.3% to €367 million euro. That 1.3% overall increase incorporates, they say, a whopping 8% increase in advertising spend from advertising agencies. To which I can’t help asking why?
According to Maeve Donovan, managing director of the Irish Times and chairwoman of the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI):
“This level of increase — against a backdrop of general economic uncertainty — is proof positive that agencies understand newspapers and recognise the unique benefits of the medium.
“Newspapers offer a cost-effective means of targeting a clearly-defined audience while other media have to take account of increasing audience fragmentation and reduced opportunities for targeting. “
This leap in print advertising revenue bucks the international trend, where print media are losing revenue to digital media hand over fist as advertisers divert ever more of their advertising budget online. In the UK internet advertising eclipsed newspaper advertising back in 2006, and leading online analysts firm e-marketer predicts that online advertising will overtake Television, the granddaddy of traditional advertising media, by 2010.
So is this surge in newspaper advertising a sign that things are different in Ireland, or is it just fuelled by traditional agencies who don’t “get” online marketing panicking and throwing money at what they’re more familiar with?
Another comment from Maeve Donovan in the Independent article highlights that the traditional agencies aren’t the only ones who don’t understand online advertising.
“Newspapers offer a cost-effective means of targeting a clearly-defined audience while other media have to take account of increasing audience fragmentation and reduced opportunities for targeting.”
Sorry Maeve, but that increased “fragmentation” is actually the aggregation of like-minded consumers into increasingly specific online communities. The ability to dynamically adapt online creative to engage with these smaller niche markets, and to measure results in real time, means that online is a far more targeted advertising medium than newspapers can ever hope to be.
Reading between the lines here, I can’t help feeling that this growth in newspaper advertising revenues in Ireland is like the terminally ill hospital patient who suddenly gets a new lease of life, right before they kick the bucket.