Ad Auction Comes to Print in Boston

By: Jennifer Saba

Is there any room for the increasingly popular “auction” concept in regular print newspaper ads? The Boston Globe’s online recruitment site, BostonWorks, has launched a weekly auction for the rights to the half-page ad that runs on the front of the paper’s Sunday recruitment section.

Starting May 9, advertisers got to participate in weekly auctions for the space that normally sold for $39,500. Opening bids start at $15,000 and rise in increments of $500; the auction closes at 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before the ad runs. Advertisers can stop the process by agreeing to pay a flat $39,500.

For the first week, however, the space closed at one bid at the bargain rate of $15,000 for Draper Laboratory. “It’s going to take three to four weeks to get enough awareness,” says BostonWorks GM Tim Murphy. Christopher O’Connor, senior vice president, group account director for MPG, a New York media firm, welcomes the auction model, since newspapers are the only ad medium with a fixed price.

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