Can Print Advertising be trusted?

As with any media used in advertising, the issue of effectiveness is always talked about. Where this is concerned, advertisers rely on statistical data to ensure that they are spending their advertising dollars on the right media and at the right time. Market research companies like Nielsen are among some of the major data suppliers in the global market where they track readership and viewership on mass media like television and newspapers.

In this context, unlike television and radio, print advertising has a very interesting situation. It is a known fact that every publication that hits the newsstands has already reached its break-even point in terms of revenue. The situation is simple. For every magazine or newspaper, its main revenue generator is advertising. The advertising sales and marketing team will sell the ad spaces and then confirm them into a specific publication before it gets to the newsstands. The situation is similar to that in magazines which means that even if the publication do not sell a single copy of the magazine, they would have already earned its profit from the advertising revenue alone.

Hence, if you are planning to insert an ad into a newspaper or magazine, could it be trusted that your ad will actually reach your target market since the company has already earned its profit? The truth is, the publication company will still send copies to the newsstands to honour its contract with the advertisers.

To know if the publisher is credible, the best benchmark is to see if it is audited by ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) and what is the total circulation number. This will ensure that the publisher do not rampantly shoot a figure on its circulation copies because you will like your ad to be seen by as many people as possible.

By being audited by ABC, the number becomes valid. Such is the situation that took place recently involving theSun newspaper who took legal action against Nielsen who reported that the newspaper only had a total of 131,000 daily readership. theSun had engaged ABC who audited that the number was 300,000 copies. The newspaper had claimed that the detrimental figures have dented their advertising business which could cause sales to drop.

Print advertising is very effective if you advertise in the right media using the appropriate strategy. However, you must be aware of the data and readership that the publications are stating in order to trust that your ads reach the intended target market.

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