ADVERTISERS GOING UPFRONT & SEASONAL

By: JOEL DAVIS

‘Albuquerque Journal’ offers Page One ads in time for Christmas

The Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal on Dec. 23 gave an early Christmas gift to advertisers when it began running full-color ads on Page One.

Although running ads on the front page has long been considered sacrilege among newspaper purists, the Journal insists it is just following a trend.

“These are popular in the United Kingdom and becoming more common in the United States,”” Publisher T.H. Lang was quoted as saying in a Journal story that cited a study of 100 newspapers by the Northwestern Media Management Center. The study found that 12% published ads on the front page.

“Advertising,”” Lang added, “”is one of the reasons people buy newspapers.””

The ads, six columns by 11/2 inches deep, run at the bottom of the page. Brian Fantl, general manager of the Albuquerque Publishing Co., the joint operating agency that produces both the Journal and The Albuquerque Tribune, told E&P that a department-store chain and a furniture retailer were the first to buy the ads, which are also for sale on section fronts, such as the paper’s weekly business tabloid. Fantl added that the ads have been well received. “”I don’t know of any negative reaction so far.””

The ads typically are offered to current clients and do not include “”price-point”” pitches that promote a specific sale or price. Rather, they refer the reader to those types of ads inside the paper. “”There is a premium added on to the advertisers’ regular contractual rate,”” said Fantl. “”We don’t normally guarantee positioning, but these are guaranteed.””

Fantl said the ads are also being offered on the evening Tribune’s section fronts separately or as “”combination buys”” with the morning Journal. The Tribune, daily circulation 18,919, is owned by the E.W. Scripps Co.; the Journal, daily circulation 108,931, is independently owned.

(copyright: Editor & Publisher January 8, 2001)

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