Thursday 12 February 2009

NS names councils competing for local ads

The Newspaper Society has released a copy of a letter sent to Cabinet Office Minister Liam Byrne warning of the serious impact on the regional press caused by local authority publications competing for third party advertising.
It also warns of the dangers of removing the mandatory requirement for local authorities to publish statutory notices in newspapers as recommended in the recent Killian Pretty Review of Planning Applications.
The letter names four local authorities whose media activities are a concern and quotes from some of their promotional material:
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham:H&F News is Hammersmith & Fulham’s leading newspaper, with more readers, more news and more influence than any other paper… Delivered to 87,000 homes, we have more than DOUBLE the readers than our nearest competitor.”
East Riding (Yorkshire Council): “East Riding News is highly competitive on advertising rates and unbeatable on coverage... gives the advertiser the opportunity to covert the whole region with one paper – one contact – one invoice. 147,600 VFD. Unbeatable readership of 240,000..”
Tower Hamlets: “East End Life is the council’s free weekly newspaper… distributed to more than 75,000 homes and businesses across the borough every week.” 13-strong news & advertising team. Tower Hamlets has already removed statutory notices from local newspapers and publishes them now in East End Life.
Kent County Council: launched Kent TV, a free internet TV service – cutting across what local media companies such as Kent Messenger Group are offering in terms of video stories on their own websites. KCC Hands Off Business is an alliance of local Kent businesses which is up in arms about KCC’s increasingly commercial activities."

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