IPA: Advertisers Unsatisifed By Newspaper Sites’ Sales Efforts

In ad-funded media, bang-for-buck is everything. But online newspapers are doing worse and worse at satisfying advertisers than rival digital ad agencies and search companies, according to the IPA’s Online Media Owners’ Survey.

The survey found falling advertiser confidence in most of the leading newspaper websites, while ad networks, search sites and others impressed advertisers more. Hardly surprising, perhaps, that advertisers, in a recession, switch on the the greater guaranteed spend search can afford over editorial…

— The UK’s biggest newspaper site by traffic, Guardian.co.uk, was judged to have good online ad services by 48.7 percent of advertisers (16.4 percent down from 2008), News International satisfied 32.4 percent (down 14.4 percent) and FT.com 41.9 percent (down 5.8 percent down). Telegraph.co.uk satisfied 49.4 percent of advertisers, but that’s up 13.9 percent from last year.

— Top of the popularity stakes is an ad network, Specific Media, which satisfied 83.5 percent of advertisers, up five percent. Vibrant Media, Adconion, Facebook and AOL (NYSE: TWX) all scored more than 60 percent in the good service category. But so did media operators Channel 4, MSN and magazine publisher Bauer Media.

— ITV.com was rated a good supplier by just 28.3 percent of advertisers — an eight percent drop — while Bebo was 20 percent down, giving it 43.7 percent satisfaction.

As Dave Katz, head of trading at Havas-owned digital agency Media Contacts, puts it (via Mediaweek): “The newspaper industry, along with many other traditional media owners, maybe suffered a bit from latency when it came to digital. It might be that digital was not the main focus.”

If newspapers’ and magazines’ commercial departments are really honest with themselves, I suspect many would admit digital is not their main focus now either and, when compared to pure digital ad companies, it shows.

Disclosure: paidContent:UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.


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