Study belies agency view of `unread’ Sunday mags

Sunday colour supplements are read, appreciated and enjoyed by around 80 per cent of Sunday newspaper readers, according to research conducted by RSGB for the Mirror Group and two agencies.

Mirror Group commissioned the research to show that Sunday colour supplements were suffering a dearth of branded advertising because of a fashion for review sections in agencies, not because of lack of interest from readers.

“We know there is a negative perception of colour magazines among some advertising agencies and their clients,” says Mirror Group deputy managing director Roger Eastoe. “They see them as being passévehicles for mail order advertising.”

The research showed that in 1990, 79 per cent of Sunday newspaper readers said they made a point of reading their colour supplements, compared to 82 per cent in 1994. While 67 per cent of 1994 readers would be disappointed if their news- paper stopped running a Sunday magazine.

Respondents said they spent nearly half an hour with their supplements which, according to the research, dispenses with the idea that they are ephemeral “throw away” magazines, briefly scanned.

Agencies welcome the research but say it fails to credit the importance of environment in media planning.

“There is increasingly an environmental aspect to media briefs beyond the traditional targeting, frequency and coverage,” says Phil Danter, planning director at Mediastar.

“The high proportion of direct mail advertising puts branded advertisers off,” he adds.

The six colour supplements in the mid-market and popular sectors took ú187m (Media Monitoring Services) in ad revenue in the 12 months to Feb-ruary 1995, a year-on-year fall of ú12m.

The six colour supplements in the mid-market and popular sectors took ú187m (Media Monitoring Services) in ad revenue in the 12 months to Feb-ruary 1995, a year-on-year fall of ú12m.

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