Cross-newspaper advertising packages devised by the Newspaper Marketing Agency (NMA) and the Newspaper Publishing Association (NPA) for the Rugby World Cup have not attracted any clients, despite the tournament being only a month away.
The tournament kicks off in Australia on October 10 and two advertising packages were developed and priced by the NPA advertising executive. The recently launched NMA was involved in providing supporting data and the NMA’s website carries details of the packages.
One package is aimed at men aged 16 to 34 years old and one at ABC1 males. They are believed to cost £30,000. The packages guarantee a full-page ad next to rugby-based editorial in the sports pages of the nationals.
Industry insiders suggest that individual negotiation with newspapers could produce a better price and the packages should have included more flexibility with space.
When the deals were first offered, the NMA drew criticism from some quarters for allowing itself to be involved in deals, rather than following its remit to promote and market newspapers as an advertising medium (MW June 12).
NMA chief executive Maureen Duffy admits that the packages and supporting research on sports editorial and advertising, not unveiled until July, came too late to attract interest.
But she defends the exercise as a demonstration to clients that newspapers are willing to co-operate and are receptive to creative ideas. She adds that the NMA “does not sell anything” and acts in a subordinate role to ad directors with its research.