Online ad sales staff must think they can’t give away recruitment ads at the moment — so no real surprises that Sun Online is giving away ad spots for out-of-work readers to advertise themselves to prospective employers, through the site’s Madgex-powered jobs board. The Sun is painting itself as a champion of the (not currently) working man and the free ads tie in with its populist Get Britain Working campaign, launched as the UK hits a 14-year unemployment high of 2.44 million. The Sun’s assertion that it’s already been “bombarded with calls from employers begging our readers to fill thousands of empty jobs”, should probably be taken with a dose of tabloid salt.
So it’s good for reader relations, but the ad give-away also boosts Sun Online’s position in the classified ad market, an area it hasn’t traditionally had a big presence. The bottom has fallen out of the print and online classifieds market — so why not use the weak market to promote your platform with consumers and employers while you can? MEN Media, under the auspices of departing online head Paul Lomax also ran a job ad giveaway campaign for six weeks earlier this year.