Media buyers say the relaunched London Evening Standard will prompt a closer look at the newspaper by potential clients.
The newspaper, now owned by Alexander Lebedev, unveiled a new advertising campaign yesterday (May 11) under the strapline “We promise…” and 650,000 free copies of the publication were handed out.
Jo Blake, head of press at Arena BLM, says the newspaper does feel “fresher, lighter and more alive” and that the newspaper seemed exciting enough to bring to clients’ attention while head of press at Mindshare,Vanessa Clifford, adds: “It definitely appears to have beefed up its content. We can see for the first time in a long time the difference between the frees and the Evening Standard.””
However, Blake adds that expectations had been raised so high by media coverage and PR there was bound to be a slight feeling of overhype.
Blake says that some of the agency’s film clients had switched spend to the free newspapers thelondonpaper and London Lite in recent years but may be tempted back by the refreshed look while Clifford said that she will be encouraging clients to take a look at the publication.
Liam Mullins of The7Stars says: “I think the Standard really lost its way and became distracted with battling News International’s thelondonpaper”
He adds that iF the newspaper can follow through on its promises to be more relevant to Londoners’ lives then it has a chance to restore its fortunes.
From a commercial point of view Mullins is pleased with the introduction of A bespoke sales team and the development of “more innovative ways” to trade. He says the battle will be to convince clients that consumers willing to pay for a title are worth more than the thousand of “eyeballs” that look at free newspapers.
The latest ABC figures show the average net circulation for the London Evening Standard fell 6.11% in April on the previous month to 263,312.