Newspaper National Network Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is

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By: E&P Staff

When it comes to advertising effectiveness, it’s time to put up or shut up, according to the National Newspaper Network.

The NNN, whose mission is to be the primary, nationwide, mass reach sales and marketing arm for the newspaper industry for targeted national advertising categories, is offering a deal to national advertisers that other media will find hard to match. Its promise: If its ad buy does not result in a minimum 10% increase in sales volume, the last ad in the series won’t cost them a dime.

Among those particularly targeted are marketers of such packaged goods as food, household products, health and beauty aids, beverages and the like. Eight packaged-goods brands were tested in the last two years by NNN to the tune of about $600,000 to see if they all gained sales, as measured by the InfoScan tracking-service unit of the SymphonyIRI Group. They did, with increases ranging from 7% to 25%, The New York Times reported.

There are, of course, some requirements: Only five marketers currently can take advantage of the deal, and those prospective marketers must be new to newspapers, make a minimum ad buy of $300,000, and take at least a third of an ad page three times. In order to attract advertisers to ROP ads rather than inserts, the offer applies only to the former ads.

Lynn A. Lehmkuhl, the Network’s senior vice president/sales, pointed out that while television and other media offer make-goods to marketers and can offer data on impressions, no other medium guarantees sales — which gives the NNN a distinct advantage.

Following the two years of successful trials, “We were so confident in newspaper ads that we thought it was a window to this great opportunity to guarantee,” said Lehmkuhl. “No other medium guarantees sales, and there’s been a lot of clamoring for it in the broader print world. It was clearly our window.”
The offer is being made to in 170 newspapers in 100 markets. “We’re actively pitching it to advertisers right now,” Lehmkuhl says. The project’s soft-launch began this week.

“The only promise a marketer wants is to sell more product,” she adds. “We feel very, very confident that we will not be giving money back.”

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