Durden urges press to fend off TV threat

Newspapers need a Press Advertising Bureau to fend off the threat from television and show advertisers how to use the medium effectively, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ media conference was told last week.

Developments such as direct response TV and infomercials are enabling TV to take on the press in its traditional areas of providing detailed product information and generating coupon responses, Jonathan Durden, managing partner at Pattison Horswell Durden, told delegates.

“Publishers don’t see it as their job to promote the medium long-term. Their job is to hit their budgets and, increasingly, some such as Associated Newspapers look as if they’d rather be in TV themselves. But advertisers and agencies want a strong press medium.”

Durden says: “The press should be taking advantage of TV’s problems with coverage (due to fragmentation) because, although in slow, long-term decline, it is a stable medium.”

In a presentation with Prudential Corporation advertising manager Dominic Owens,

Durden illustrated how many agencies fail to use the press

efficiently.

“Not many people use press for their corporate branding campaigns,” he said. “They use it conventionally and stick in too much information. Over 60 per cent of people read a press ad in less than two seconds. Only ten per cent read any of the copy and it is competing with editorial.”

Durden says that a “PAB” could co-ordinate research into newspaper section readership and provide creative advice, case histories and co-ordinated information on the medium.

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