Future of Newspaper Advertising Brighter, says Industry Chief

A brighter future for newspaper advertising could be soon on the horizon, according to the head of the UK body representing advertising practitioners.

Speaking at the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival of Marketing, Hamish Pringle was in an upbeat mood about the future of advertising, including saying that advertising on TV was far from dead, despite reports today about a survey saying 86 per cent of people who used a catch-up facility saying they skipped the ads.

The director general of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising said there doesn't need to be a revolution in advertising, that an evolution is sufficient to ensure a healthy future.

And on the subject of newspaper advertising, he told allmediascotland.com: “Advertising in newspapers clearly has been very problamatic, and the irony of that is newspaper owners were one of the earliest people into websites and web media. 

“The mistake that newspapers made was they kept their website operation as part of the organisation and they were terrified it would canabalise their newsprint business in which they had a huge sunk capital, so in a sense they hedged their bets. Unfortunately, that allowed online media owners to come in and take their business, particularly in classified advertising. 

“An encouraging number of people are paying for their newspaper content online or subscribing to a newspaper via their iPad, making a newspaper experience contemporary.”

He continued: “An encouraging number of people are paying for their newspaper content online or subscribing to a newspaper via their iPad. It may be that the newspaper and magazine industry have been through hell but may be coming back up and moving onto higher ground.”

The survey – conducted by Yougov and Deloitte for the Edinburgh International Television Festival taking place this weekend – found 86 per cent of respondents happily admitting to skipping through advertising on their digital recorders.

Pringle, however, is confident that the proportion of screen-based advertising is going to rise significantly over the next ten years, thanks to an increase in the use of digital media.

His optimism was shared by the panel at 'The Next Decade in Advertising: Evolution or Revolution?', compiled of key industry players. “Brands need to promote a vision, not a product. Brands like Ben and Jerry's do this and are hugely successful,” said Jan Rijkenberg, co-founder and chief executive of BSUR, a creative consultancy in Amsterdam.

Today’s event – run in conjunction with creativebrief, a marketing services agency – is one of many in the brand new festival which is a celebration of the marketing industry.

Tom Holmes, director of the Edinburgh International Marketing Festival said: “Today's event was fantastic, the quality across everything meant that the whole proceedings were not only interesting but they threw up a lot of insights across the industry.”