By: Dorothy Giobbe
APPROXIMATELY 60% OF the newspapers that participated in Chrysler Corp.’s $1 million, 75 newspaper ROP ad buy failed to meet Chrysler’s four-color reproduction requirements, according to a tearsheet evaluation conducted after the final group of ads ran.
Pat Haegele, vice president and general manager of the Newspaper National Network, told attendees of the Newspaper Association of America marketing conference that NNN was informed of the percentage following a tearsheet review, conducted by PentaCom, a subsidiary of BBDO advertising agency. PentaCom plans, buys and traffics all national Chrysler Corporation advertising.
Haegele said that although “our review of the tearsheets showed that the agency’s numbers were slightly exaggerated the complaint was justifiable and in need of a solution.”
In an interview, Haegele elaborated.
“Bottom line, we came down to about 30% [of ads] that did not meet the registration prerequisites that the agency had expected,” she said.
Although NNN and PentaCom are “in disagreement” over the percentage of substandard ads, “we’re trying to come to a compromise with PentaCom so that we can move forward,” Haegele said.
Jamie Jameson, manager of media operations for Chrysler, said that while the Dodge ad featured a single color car, the Chrysler-Plymouth ad featured three different minivans in three different colors, “so there was a lot more variability.”
“A great many of the newspapers were able to reproduce the colors terrifically, and other guys, for whatever reason, were not able to do such a good job,” Jameson said.
Haegele told conference attendees that the NNN is working closely with Publicitas Advertising Services to improve four-color reproduction, but “to do so we must have follow-through from the newspapers in every market.”
Because of industry investment in printing equipment and four-color press capability, “there is no reason for us to accept inferior reproduction,” she added.
“It is imperative that national advertisers perceive newspapers as a viable alternative for four-color advertising,” Haegele said. Reproduction is a “major concern,” and “advertisers will not accept orange for red.”
“For the national advertiser, and particularly automotive . . . color is a priority because color of automobiles many times is the reason that people buy,” Haegele said. “And that is just not top of mind to the newspaper industry, because color as a way of doing advertising is fairly new.”
Jameson said that while in this instance, color reproduction needs to improve, “overall, we were very well pleased with the experiment and we are looking at other ways of utilizing the network of newspapers.”
The three-date Chrysler buy, brokered by the NAA earlier this year, was touted as a dress rehearsal for the NNN. Some 75 newspapers received two half-page, four color vertical ads from Chrysler-Plymouth, as well as a full page ad from Dodge. (E&P, March 12, p. 26).
While initially Chrysler expressed concern about ad reproduction and the difficulty of a multi-newspaper buy, NAA efforts to complete the deal finally paid off. The ads ran Feb. 28, the week of March 7, and the week of March 21.