Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

General Motors Loses Tiger Woods: Sign of the Economic, Cultural Times

November 29, 2008

Turns out, Tiger Woods wouldn’t really rather have a Buick. At least not anymore.

When Woods ended his nine-year relationship with General Motors Corp. on Monday — a mutual decision between a megawatt celebrity who doesn’t need the work and a teetering corporation that needs every penny — it offered yet another snapshot of how badly the American economy has deteriorated.

By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer

Woods is the world’s most marketable athlete with an estimated $100 million endorsements a year. If his agreement with one of the world’s most active sports sponsors dissolved, some experts wonder if any endorsement or sponsorship deal is really ironclad in these tough times.

“The real story here isn’t Tiger,” says Marc Ganis, the president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago-based sports consulting firm. “It’s the auto industry. … There are a lot of parties who are going to have some difficulties finding sponsors to substitute for what the auto industry used to provide.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081129/ap_on_bi_ge/sp
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Obama ads in GOP turf; McCain says he’s leftist

October 31, 2008

In a bold move brimming with confidence, Democrat Barack Obama broadened his advertising campaign on Friday into two once reliably Republican states and further bedeviled rival John McCain by placing a commercial in the Republican presidential nominee‘s home state of Arizona.

By MIKE GLOVER and JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writers

Obama’s campaign, capitalizing on his vast financial resources and a favorable political climate, announced that it was going back up with advertising in Georgia and North Dakota, two GOP states that it had teased with ads earlier in the general election campaign but then abandoned.

In what could be a final ignominy for McCain, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the campaign would also begin airing ads in Arizona, a state McCain has represented in Congress for 26 years. Plouffe said the race has tightened in Arizona, Georgia and North Dakota. A recent poll from McCain’s home state showed the two candidates in a statistical dead heat.

In a slew of states, “the die is being cast as we speak,” he said. “Sen. McCain on Election Day is not just going to have to carry the day, but carry it convincingly.”

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis derided Obama’s moves: “We encourage them to pick other states that we intend to win” to spend their money.

McCain was spending a second straight day touring economically ailing Ohio, a swing state with 20 electoral votes that McCain aides acknowledge is central to a victory on Tuesday. McCain was behind Obama in polls in the state.

While the Obama campaign continued to tie McCain to the unpopular President Bush, McCain assailed Obama’s economic policies as recipes from the far left of American politics.

McCain told a rally in Hanoverton, Ohio, that Obama “began his campaign in the liberal left lane of politics and has never left it. He’s more liberal than a senator who calls himself a socialist,” a reference to Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont.

Campaigning with McCain was former GOP rival and one-time New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who told the crowd, “John McCain was right about the single most important decision that had to be made in the last four years and that was to stick it out in Iraq.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081031/ap_on_el_pr/campaign_
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Obama TV infomercial: Smart or overkill?

October 29, 2008

Barack Obama will go on national television tonight and air a 30-minute infomercial about himself and his presidential campaign.

Several political image makers, both Republicans and Democrats, say it’s a smart move. But is there a risk of excess in it, as well? 

From: Jeanne Cummings; Politico

While Obama hasn’t made many strategic mistakes in his campaign against Republican John McCain, he has, on occasion, shown a weakness for extravagance.

In July, Obama’s visits to Afghanistan and Iraq generated comforting images of the senator with military leaders and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. But his trip ended in Berlin with an image of 200,000 fans, mostly Europeans, chanting Obama’s name.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. ... 
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. greets supporters at a rally in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

In August, his campaign navigated the minefield of the Democratic Party’s feuding families to pull off a convention that began healing the wounds between the Clinton and Obama camps. Then it came to its conclusion between two Greek columns where a triumphant Obama delivered an acceptance speech to a football stadium crowd of more than 80,000.

Today, Obama is dominating the television ad wars. As of Oct. 22, Obama placed 150 percent more ads than McCain in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to the Nielsen Co.
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Despite all that, and despite his lead in national and most battleground polls, the campaign decided to plunk down between $3 and $5 million to buy half-hour blocks of time at 8 p.m. tonight on NBC, CBS, FOX, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One for delivery of his final argument to the voters.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081029/pl_politico/
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Campaign Media Watch: Obama One Man Show Because of Money

October 29, 2008

Barack Obama will be a one-man television blitz on Wednesday, saturating prime-time with a 30-minute ad and popping up on the buzzy late-night TV scene.

He is also giving an interview to a prominent network news anchor, and appearing with fellow Democratic star Bill Clinton at a rally that is timed to hit the late-evening news.

From the Associated Press

So that line in Obama’s stump speech about how parents need to turn the television off more at home? He might make an exception this day.

The TV campaign comes as Obama, ahead in national and swing-state polls over Republican John McCain, tries to win over teetering voters right from the comfort of their couches.

The election is six days away.

The centerpiece of the effort is Obama’s infomercial. It is rare for a candidate to buy a block of prime-time real estate to tell his story. Plenty costly, too.

The ad is expected to be a video montage of typical people talking about the challenges they face, with Obama explaining how he can help. A campaign adviser said the taped ad will feature a live cut-in to Obama, who is scheduled to be at a rally in Florida at the time.

The Obama team bought time on CBS, NBC and Fox for about $1 million per network. The spot airs at 8 p.m. EDT. It is also scheduled to run on Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One.

Flush with cash from his record-shattering fundraising, Obama uses that advantage by buying up media time in ways that McCain cannot.

McCain is purchasing loads of ad time, too. But the disparity between Obama and the Republicans is so wide….

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http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081029/D9441AHG0.html

Circulation for Newspapers Continues to Decline

October 28, 2008

By ANICK JESDANUN
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NEW YORK (AP) – Circulation at the nation’s daily newspapers is falling faster than anticipated this year as readers continue their migration to the Internet and papers narrow their distribution to cut costs.

The development, which compounds the fiscal challenge of plummeting advertising revenue, was revealed Monday when the Audit Bureau of Circulations released sales totals reported by newspapers for April through September.

Combined weekday circulation of all 507 papers that reported circulation totals this year and last averaged 38,165,848 in the six months ending in September, 4.6 percent below 40,022,356 a year earlier. The aggregate drop was only 2.6 percent in the September 2007 period, compared with September 2006.

Sunday circulation fell faster than daily – 4.8 percent, to 43,631,646 at the 571 papers with comparable totals. A year ago, Sunday circulation fell 3.5 percent.

Daily circulation at 16 of the 25 largest papers fell more than 5 percent in the latest period.

Circulation has been dropping at newspapers for decades, a trend sped up by readers shifting to the Internet. Newspapers also have lost advertising in recent years because of the Internet, and that decline accelerated this summer as the weak economy prompted advertisers to pull back on spending.

To boost revenue, many papers also have increased prices, a move that has caused small circulation drops.

This year’s sharpening circulation drop also appears to result in part from the way papers are responding to losing ad revenue, said Rick Edmonds, media analyst at the journalism think tank Poynter Institute.

“Times are tough, and they are looking at everything that’s in their expense base,” he said. “Building new subscribers is an expensive proposition.”

Consider The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where circulation declined 13.6 percent, the largest drop among the 25 largest papers.

The paper increased prices and reduced its distribution footprint by a third to 49 counties. Some of the counties dropped weren’t even in Georgia and were more expensive to reach, said Bob Eickhoff, the paper’s senior vice president for operations.

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http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081027/D94334KG0.html

Obama’s Ad Effort Swamps McCain and Nears Record

October 18, 2008

A lot of what you know about McCain and Obama comes from ads….and most of those are funded by Mr. Obama because he refused to keep a promise to accept only public funding as set down in the McCain-Feingold law….

By Jim Rutenberg
The New York Times
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PHILADELPHIA — Senator Barack Obama is days away from breaking the advertising spending record set by President Bush in the general election four years ago, having unleashed an advertising campaign of a scale and complexity unrivaled in the television era.

A money changer counts out US 100-dollar banknotes at a currency ... 

With advertisements running repeatedly day and night, on local stations and on the major broadcast networks, on niche cable networks and even on video games and his own dedicated satellite channels, Mr. Obama is now outadvertising Senator John McCain nationwide by a ratio of at least four to one, according to CMAG, a service that monitors political advertising. That difference is even larger in several closely contested states.

The huge gap has been made possible by Mr. Obama’s decision to opt out of the federal campaign finance system, which gives presidential nominees $84 million in public money and prohibits them from spending any amount above that from their party convention to Election Day. Mr. McCain is participating in the system. Mr. Obama, who at one point promised to participate in it as well, is expected to announce in the next few days that he raised more than $100 million in September, a figure that would shatter fund-raising records.

“This is uncharted territory,” said Kenneth M. Goldstein, the director of the Advertising Project at the University of Wisconsin. “We’ve certainly seen heavy advertising battles before. But we’ve never seen in a presidential race one side having such a lopsided advantage.”

While Mr. Obama has held a spending advantage throughout the general election campaign, his television dominance has become most apparent in the last few weeks. He has gone on a buying binge of television time that has allowed him to swamp Mr. McCain’s campaign with concurrent lines of positive and negative messages. Mr. Obama’s advertisements come as Republicans have begun a blitz of automated telephone calls attacking him.

The Obama campaign’s advertising approach — which has included advertisements up to two minutes long in which Mr. Obama lays out his agenda and even advertisements in video games like “Guitar Hero” — has helped mask some of Mr. Obama’s rougher attacks on his rival.

 
Above: Senator Barack Obama on Friday in Roanoke, Va. Analysts say his campaign is on pace to surpass next week the record of $188 million in advertising spending in a general election. Photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times

“What Obama is doing is being his own good cop and bad cop,” said Evan Tracey, the chief operating officer of CMAG, who called the advertising war “a blowout” in Mr. Obama’s favor.

Based on his current spending, CMAG predicts Mr. Obama’s general election advertising campaign will surpass the $188 million Mr. Bush spent in his 2004 campaign by early next week. Mr. McCain has spent $91 million on advertising since he clinched his party’s nomination, several months before Mr. Obama clinched his.

The size of the disparity has even surprised aides to Mr. McCain, who traded accusations with Mr. Obama over the advertising battle in this week’s debate, with Mr. Obama telling Mr. McCain that “your ads, 100 percent of them have been negative” and Mr. McCain saying that “Senator Obama has spent more money on negative ads than any political campaign in history.”

Related:

ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

Why McCain Has So Little Campaign Money: His Own Law, Ethics

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/18/us/politics
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Internet Death For “Print” Newspapers?

November 6, 2007

By Robert MacMillan
November 5, 2007

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Circulation fell at many U.S. newspapers in the six months to September, according to statistics released on Monday that for the first time include Internet readership in a bid by publishers to boost their attractiveness to advertisers.

Average daily paid circulation for newspapers printed Monday through Friday fell 2.6 percent and Sunday circulation fell 3.5 percent for the six-month period that ended September 30, 2007, compared with the year before, according to publishers’ statistics released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

In the top 25 markets, average daily paid circulation fell 2.4 percent, while Sunday circulation fell 4.6 percent.

The declines come as readers move online, but they also stem from publishers’ efforts to cut discounted copies from their subscription rolls, said a spokeswoman for the Newspaper Association of America.

Some papers, particularly in California and Florida, are dealing with the weak housing market, while others face their own regional trends, such as in Michigan where papers have cut jobs as they serve markets hurt by the slumping auto industry.

Most big city dailies reported that average daily paid print circulation fell. Dow Jones & Company Inc said daily circulation at The Wall Street Journal, including paid subscriptions to its Web site, dropped 1.5 percent, while The New York Times fell 4.5 percent.

The New York Daily News and New York Post reported circulation declines, with the Post down 5.2 percent and the Daily News down 1.7 percent.

Advertisers long have considered print circulation key to determining where they spend their dollars, but publishers hope the Web numbers will provide a better picture of the true reach of newspapers.

“We generally agree that we can now truly gauge the impact of newspapers across the variety of media platforms that they truly represent,” said Dave Walker, chief executive of Newspaper Services of America, which buys ad space in papers.

Gannett Co Inc reported a 1 percent rise in daily paid circulation at USA Today, while the Philadelphia Inquirer said circulation rose 2.3 percent.

The Washington Post reported a 3.23 percent drop, while the Chicago Tribune fell 2.9 percent. Its parent company Tribune Co said circulation fell at Long Island, New York’s Newsday, but rose 0.5 percent at the Los Angeles Times.

The new data includes the number of people estimated to read a paper, not just how many papers were sold.

Many also are reporting usage of their Web sites, as well as a figure that tries to count print and Web site use without counting people twice who use both.

Gannett’s Asbury Park Press in New Jersey has average daily print circulation of 144,072. But it claims more than 650,000 print readers, more than 850,000 unique Web users and some 832,000 people, without counting people who read both editions more than once.

It is hard to say if advertisers will buy the new numbers.

Alan Mutter, a former newspaper editor who writes a blog on newspaper and media issues called Reflections of a Newsosaur, said many newspaper Web site visitors to not remain long enough to make them worthwhile for advertisers.

“I think it’s certainly valuable in the sense that advertisers have something they can count on and make reasonable judgments about,” he said. “The question is, are they going to like the numbers they see?”

Edward Montes, managing director for Havas’s online media buying arm Media Contacts, said online-only ad buying at local papers has never been very effective.

“The increase in the data points allows us to more accurately project and measure, and make sure we’re spending our client’s money effectively,” said Montes, whose clients include Sears Holding Corp, Fidelity Investments and Goodyear Tires. “They’re saying print is declining, but oh, by the way, our online properties are increasing, but I don’t think it will change the buying dynamic significantly.”

(Editing by Maureen Bavdek/Tim Dobbyn)

Related:

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Blockbuster Video: Headed For Extinction?

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New York Times Publisher: Managing Transition From Print to Internet

By Eytan Avriel
Haaretz (Israel)
February 8, 2007

Despite his personal fortune and impressive lineage, Arthur Sulzberger, owner, chairman and publisher of the most respected newspaper in the world, is a stressed man. Why would the man behind the New York Times be stressed?

Well, profits from the paper have been declining for four years, and the Times company’s market cap has been shrinking, too. Its share lags far behind the benchmark, and just last week, the group Sulzberger leads admitted suffering a $570 million loss because of write offs and losses at the Boston Globe. As if that weren’t enough, his personal bank, Morgan Stanley, recently set out on a campaign that could cost the man control over the paper.

All this may explain why Sulzberger does not talk with the press. But perhaps the rarified alpine air at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, which ended last week, relaxes the CEOs of the world’s leading companies. And what began as a casual chat ended in a fascinating glimpse into Sulzberger’s world, and how he sees the future of the news business.

Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years? “I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either,” he says. Sulzberger is focusing on how to best manage the transition from print to Internet.

“The Internet is a wonderful place to be, and we’re leading there,” he points out. The Times, in fact, has doubled its online readership to 1.5 million a day to go along with its 1.1 million subscribers for the print edition.

Sulzberger says the New York Times is on a journey that will conclude the day the company decides to stop printing the paper. That will mark the end of the transition. It’s a long journey, and there will be bumps on the road, says the man at the driving wheel, but he doesn’t see a black void ahead. Asked if local papers have a future, Sulzberger points out that the New York Times is not a local paper, but rather a national one based in New York that enjoys more readers from outside, than within, the city.

Classifieds have long been a major source of income to the press, but the business is moving to the Internet. Sulzberger agrees, but what papers lose, Web sites gain. Media groups can develop their online advertising business, he explains. Also, because Internet advertising doesn’t involve paper, ink and distribution, companies can earn the same amount of money even if it receives less advertising revenue.

Really?

What about the costs of development and computerization? “These costs aren’t anywhere near what print costs,” Sulzberger says. “The last time we made a major investment in print, it cost no less than $1 billion. Site development costs don’t grow to that magnitude.”

The New York Times recently merged its print and online news desks. Did it go smoothly, or were there ruffled feathers? Which team is leading the way today? “You know what a newspaper’s news desk is like? It’s like the emergency room at a hospital, or an office in the military. Both organizations are very goal-oriented, and both are very hard to change,” Sulzberger says. Once change begins, it happens quickly, so the transition was difficult, he says.

“But once the journalists grasped the concept, they flipped and embraced it, and supported the move.” That included veteran managers, too. How are you preparing for changes to the paper that are dictated by the Internet? “We live in the Internet world. We have, for example, five people working in a special development unit whose only job is to initiate and develop things related to the electronic world – Internet, cellular, whatever comes.

The average age of readers of the New York Times print edition is 42, Sulzberger says, and that hasn’t changed in 10 years. The average age of readers of its Internet edition is 37, which shows that the group is also managing to recruit young readers for both the printed version and Web site. Also, the Times signed a deal with Microsoft to distribute the paper through a software program called Times Reader, Sulzberger says. The software enables users to conveniently read the paper on screens, mainly laptops.

“I very much believe that the experience of reading a paper can be transfered to these new devices.” Will it be free? No, Sulzberger says. If you want to read the New York Times online, you will have to pay. In the age of bloggers, what is the future of online newspapers and the profession in general?

There are millions of bloggers out there, and if the Times forgets who and what they are, it will lose the war, and rightly so, according to Sulzberger.

“We are curators, curators of news. People don’t click onto the New York Times to read blogs. They want reliable news that they can trust,” he says. “We aren’t ignoring what’s happening. We understand that the newspaper is not the focal point of city life as it was 10 years ago. “Once upon a time, people had to read the paper to find out what was going on in theater. Today there are hundreds of forums and sites with that information,” he says. “But the paper can integrate material from bloggers and external writers. We need to be part of that community and to have dialogue with the online world.”

And while on community, the scandal about Jayson Blair, the reporter caught plagiarizing and fabricating, hurt the brand, not the business, he says. Blair was forced to quit in May 2003. You’re one of the few papers that continues to print on broadsheet, which people consider to be too big and clumsy. Until when? “Until when? The New York Times has no intention of changing that,” Sulzberger promises. At any rate, transitioning from broadsheet to tabloid would be prohibitively expensive, he says.

Do you feel that the newspaper world is weakening? Are advertisers pressing harder for better deals? “Advertisers always press harder for better deals and influence over content,” Sulzberger says. But the New York Times has nothing to apologize for and no reason to fold, “as long as I’m sure that what we wrote and what we’re about to write is right.”

Related:

Blockbuster Video: Headed For Extinction?