Southern Calif. and Las Vegas Papers Form Ad Network to Compete with Advo

By: Jennifer Saba Six Southern California newspapers have joined together with one from Las Vegas, N.V., to start a regional network of preprint advertising to compete with Advo and other companies that offer consumer discounts through direct mail.

The Value Network, quietly launched at the end of last year, is comprised of The Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Ventura County Star, the (Torrance) Daily Breeze, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

The concept is "one-order, one-bill," said Jeff Johnson, senior vice president and general manager of the Times. "It's an opportunity for advertisers to reach multiple markets and up to 7.2 million households." The network distributes through newspapers, TMC products, and the mail.

"We are very excited about it," Johnson says.

Though still in start-up stage, reps within each paper are bringing the concept to advertisers.

The network also launched this week Local Community Values, a program that focuses on Orange County.

LCV will be distributed to more than 900,000 Orange County households, including 40% of households subscribing to the Times or the Register. In addition, the product will be distributed in the Register's 15 community weeklies and through direct mail.

"We can now offer advertisers the best possible insert distribution solution to reach a high-quality consumer," Keith Gilpin, director of direct mail sales for Freedom Orange County Information, said in a statement. (Freedom Communications is the owner of the Orange County Register.) "Local Community Values is in direct response to insert advertisers' requests for a simpler way to reach consumers through paid-subscriber delivery and direct mail."

The Los Angeles Times' California Community News facility is handling the database list and creation of packages for the Value Network. Gilpin says that advertisers print roughly 80% of preprint orders. Occasionally, clients will request that newspapers handle the printing, and, in those cases, the papers usually employ a third party for the task. The paper then takes on the distribution.


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