No Title

Newspaper publishers are reaping the benefits of an explosion in colour pages, but are advertisers getting good value for the premium they pay?

Fleet Street has clearly found a saviour in the demand for colour advertising. Publishers are able to command significantly higher yields for colour space and a strategy – their management of colour versus mono volume in a static, total display market – that seems to have been successful.

The latest figures for display advertising volumes in the national press highlight the continued dynamic growth of colour.

While overall display volumes showed only marginal growth across all sectors – an increase of one per cent – colour volumes for the year to date were up by nearly 30 per cent.

Advertising demand for colour continues to grow and publishers are increasing their supply capabilities and appear

to be reaping the reward for a

significant investment in new technology.

What is interesting is that the “colour explosion” is not restricted to any one sector. While the popular market has shown the most significant growth – up 44 per cent – both the quality and mid-market sectors have shown more than healthy rises of 27 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

The overall share of display volume taken by colour against mono is now 30:70, up from 23:77 for the same period last year.

The year-on-year decline in mono space ranges between

sectors: mono in the quality

sector as a whole is down by ten per cent; in the mid-market sector by four per cent; and in the popular sector by nine per cent.

The cost issues for Fleet Street are well-documented and, if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, are probably mentioned in nine out of ten conversations between seller and buyer: “paper costs are rising…again”.

While increasing paper costs are an issue for all publishers, certain titles have their own additional “problems” to compound this erosion in their profitability. This could be less circulation revenue as a result of a decline in sales, or the cost of subsidising cover-price promotions.

For those advertisers using mono, the question of impact and standout becomes more of an issue. If the market is shifting towards colour, what is the impact of a mono ad against previous years?

Conversely, a colour advertiser who previously enjoyed the standout among a predominately mono environment now has to contend with increased colour advertiser competition.

The benefits of paying a significant premium for colour

may become an area for debate as the market becomes more cluttered.

Advertising effectiveness is a key issue for advertisers and the “colour versus mono” debate is an area which merits greater research, particularly if Fleet Street is to have a continued strategy of increasing colour advertising pagination and holding on to valued customers, be they mono or colour users.

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