New NAA Campaign Targets Ad Industry

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By: Lucia Moses

In the eyes of some critics, newspapers haven’t done the best job convincing people they’re as exciting as other media — and it may be costing them.

From 1980 to 2000, daily newspapers’ share of all advertising revenue declined from 28.4% to 21.5%, according to data compiled by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

Among those the industry may not have always inspired are those who create and buy advertising. With a new series of ads, however, NAA hopes to change that and thereby steer more ad dollars to its members.

The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., created the campaign for NAA for an undisclosed fee. NAA is encouraging its member papers to run the ads, which can be downloaded from its Web site (

The agency’s president and creative director, Mike Hughes, chaired NAA’s 2001 Athena Awards honoring the best newspaper ads. Hughes, a former reporter at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and a self-described “newspaper fanatic,” enlisted creative heavyweights to describe what excites them about writing newspaper ads. “We want to show the people how cool it is, and we want to show them how to do it,” Hughes told attendees at the annual NAA Marketing Conference in San Diego last week.

Interest is likely to be highest among major metros, which get the bulk of national advertising and whose markets are home to large advertising communities. USA Today, The New York Times, and The San Diego Union-Tribune have said they would run the ads, according to the NAA.

Joining Hughes in designing the first series of four ads, were Lee Clow, chairman and creative director of TBWAWorldwide, Los Angeles; Neil French, worldwide creative director of Ogilvy & Mather, Singapore; and Luke Sullivan, chief creative officer of WestWayne Inc., Atlanta.

“It’s an opportunity for all of us to make a difference in the advertising community,” said Mort Goldstrom, NAA vice president of display advertising. “We need to reach them [advertisers] where they read, and they read the newspaper.”

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