NMA to raise profile by ramping up debate on multi-platform

Recently appointed chief executive of the Newspaper Marketing Agency, Rufus Olins, aims to raise the profile of the association by communicating how digital and print can work in harmony and exploring better multi-platform audience measurement methods.

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Olins, who replaced Maureen Duffy as CEO earlier this month, says it is important for the NMA to be as helpful to advertisers and agencies as it is to its media owner members by promoting the branded opportunities newspaper brands offer across a number of different platforms.

He adds that one of his priorities is to develop a more collaborative approach to help the newspaper and the wider advertising industry work better to understand these opportunities.

“Newspapers need to present a united front and work together…I think the days of people standing opposite each other trying to throw rocks at each other are gone,” Olins says.

The NMA is funded by Guardian News and Media, Independent Print Limited, Mail Newspapers, Mirror Group Newspapers, News International and Telegraph Media Group.

Olins says while it is possible to function without Northern and Shell, which owns the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers, the NMA would be “delighted” to welcome Richard Desmond’s media company back. Northern and Shell, which also owns Channel 5, is also not a member of television marketing body Thinkbox.

Nielsen data states that national newspapers took 13% – £1.4bn – of all display ad spend in 2010. However, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation figures, the circulation of every national newspaper apart from the Guardian and Observer, was down month on month from November to December 2011.

Another priority for Olins, the former chief executive at marketing intelligence business Warc, is improving the way the NMA measures audiences on a multi-platform level and how that relates to newspapers to ensure the organisation is still relevant at a time when print readership is declining.

“I don’t believe in death knells, with new technology the newspaper industry is expanding into new areas, which will enable more branded opportunities,” he says.

It is possible the NMA would look to employ more staff with digital expertise as its focus shifts from print to digital.

“There’s been more change in the newspaper industry in the last eight years than there have been in the last 200…we need to be sure we can keep abreast of new developments and make that a priority,” Olins adds.

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