Ampersand To Be Unveiled at INMA Meeting p. 5

By: Editorial Staff EDITOR & PUBLISHER CO. has announced an on-line market research and advertising transaction service called Ampersand, The Media Information Network.
Ampersand is undergoing testing, but several segments have already been tested and are operational, the company said.
Ampersand's market research and advertising platform is scheduled to debut May 15 at the International Newspaper Marketing Association gathering in Phoenix.
An equipment research platform is scheduled to be introduced at NAA's Nexpo conference and trade show in Las Vegas in late June.
A full-service, business-to-business information and transaction network for the newspaper industry, Ampersand is designed to allow advertisers and their agencies to research newspapers and their markets, including advertising rates and market demographics, and then to order ads in specific newspapers around the country through a one order/one bill service provided by Publicitas Advertising Services.
Publicitas has also been selected to provide one order/one bill processing to the Newspaper Association of America's Newspaper National Network, a unit NAA formed to sell ads to national advertisers in newspapers from coast to coast.
"Through this seamless network, integrating research with one order/one bill processing, Ampersand adds to the Newspaper Association of America's mission to facilitate and increase national advertising in newspapers," Editor & Publisher said in an announcement.
Editor & Publisher publishes Editor & Publisher magazine, as well as the annual directory of newspapers Editor & Publisher International Year Book and Editor & Publisher Market Guide, a directory of geographic and demographic market data. All will be searchable as part of the service.
"Ampersand keeps with the tradition of E&P magazine as an independent network, open to all parties involved in newspapering," Editor & Publisher general manager D. Colin Phillips said.
Ampersand uses a search technique named Prosearch, which was developed for stock analysis.
Allowing searches based on more than 2,000 criteria, it permits media buyers to select the newspaper markets that offer the types of consumers they want to reach and lists the markets in order of compliance to criteria, the company said.
The system, which includes data and a large selection of rates on general interest dailies, plus ethnic, religious and special interest newspapers, takes into account circulation, cost, market penetration, zoning, color availability, section availability and total market coverage capability.
Once papers have been selected, rates can be requested for confirmation through electronic mail or broadcast fax. Orders can then be forwarded to Publicitas.
"With an intuitive Windows or Mac interface, these complex searches can be accomplished by planners without statistical knowledge or reference to phone book-sized manuals," Editor & Publisher said.
As an information service, Ampersand will serve as a research tool for newspaper journalists by providing full-text searches, including archival searches, of E&P magazine and other databases, either individually or as a group.
The service offers sophisticated electronic mail capabilities, allowing person-to-person messages plus group forums, roundtable discussions and native format document exchanges.
Plans call for on-line polling and forums about issues important to newspaper journalists and business executives, with results to appear in E&P.
Ampersand "seeks to provide editorial departments with a far-reaching research network through gateways to a wide range of electronic information services," the company said.
The service also plans to offer information from suppliers about products used in newspaper production, allowing newspaper executives to search databases about hardware, software, machinery and supplies.
Phillips said both editorial and advertising services respect user privacy.


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