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Big-city dailies team up in ground-breaking sales venture

A group of big-city dailies with a combined circulation of 1.5m are to be sold as a single package to advertisers in a ground-breaking venture.

Thirteen of the country’s biggest regional newspapers have been signed up for ‘The National’ – a combined sales package led by Northcliffe Media and Trinity Mirror.

It will see ads sold as a package to all 13 titles, making it simpler for national advertisers to use regional newspapers with a single order.

The National includes England’s three best selling regional dailies, the Express and Star, Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo, as well as London’s Evening Standard.

Other daily newspapers taking part include the Northcliffe-owned Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Post, Hull Daily Mail, Bristol Post, South Wales Evening Post and Stoke Sentinel, and Trinity’s Newcastle Chronicle, South Wales Echo and Birmingham Mail.

A new trading director, Richard Hayes, has been poached from Bauer Media to head the initiative.

Northcliffe chief executive Steve Auckland said:   “This is a revolution in the way national advertisers can engage with regional media.

“I’m really excited by the whole package we’ve been able to gather for advertisers and with Richard’s experience and strong leadership this will help us deliver excellent results for all those involved.”

The National, which has been put together by the combined Northcliffe-Trinity sales house AMRA, boasts a combined readership of 4m which it says is 1m more than any single national newspaper title.

It claims a 52pc share of the UK regional press market and represents 13 of the top 20 regional daily titles in England and Wales.

Said Richard:  “I am delighted to be taking on this role – The National represents a significant moment in regional press history and gives advertisers the opportunity to easily access huge national reach via an engaged local audience.”

Amra managing director Gary McNish added: “I am really pleased that we have been able to attract Richard to the role of Trading Director of The National. The proposition he is taking to market is not just unique and compelling but also hugely exciting.”

13 comments

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  • May 2, 2012 at 9:27 am
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    Cross-selling across company borders is just a logical step after cross-selling within, surely? It doesn’t strike me as a stroke of genius.

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  • May 2, 2012 at 9:30 am
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    Suprise suprise some good news and a postive step forward to try and tackle the massive problem of ad revenue decline & noone comments!

    In case most people were unaware, the majority of the advertising revenue drop has been in National. (In my centre for example, ad revenue is down 600k – made up of 500k national, 50k recruitment and 50k local) This is at least a positive move to do something about it. But who cares? The doom & gloom merchants on here prob don’t even understand about how advertising operates, so won’t bother commenting.

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  • May 2, 2012 at 9:59 am
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    Wouldn’t this be against the competition guidelines?

    If they can get away with it, all well and good, we need something forward-looking to bring in the dosh.

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  • May 2, 2012 at 10:10 am
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    Love it, thinking outside the box! It doesnt need to stop here either;

    Presumably a National digital offering on the sister sites will be made available?

    You could also have a “Southerner” a “Midlander” and a “Northerner” package aimed at regional businesses with a wider audience than their local print title can deliver. Perhaps a bundle of half a dozen or so mid-sized dailies circa 30k+ circulation

    Its win/win and could be sold in locally (with a bit of thought) and through Agency

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  • May 2, 2012 at 10:28 am
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    Nothing new in this but sometimes the old ones are the best. Where are JP in this ? They seem conspicuous by their absence.

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  • May 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm
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    This isn’t the first multi-publisher package. The Capital Package is the premier local media solution for London, and a genuine alternative to the ES/Metro commuter readership – and it is a collaboration between Newsquest Media Sales and Amra, with NQ, TM titles included.

    This National solution is less groundbreaking as Amra represents both TM and Nothcliffe – they are merely bundling their own titles.

    In response to Guy – JP are represented by Mediaforce who aren’t the most susceptible to doing things in collaboration with other local media publishers for the greater good.

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  • May 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm
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    I suggested regional advertising packages for JP about eight years ago and was told by the MD and advertising director that “it was too difficult”. That level of commercial awareness might be why my position became redundant . . .

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  • May 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm
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    “Groundbreaking”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please – we did this two decades ago and it was called “The Word”.
    It worked well enough until some of “The Word” sales team started poaching already contracted business and converted existing active and profitable accounts into massive “loss leaders” and in the process really upset a number of major regional accounts.
    Having said that there was a yield and contracts to be had back then – so maybe in today’s screwed up markets it will bring in some extra “National Press” revenue. The original idea of the Word was a good strategic proposition – unfortunately the actual reality fell far short and caused many more issues (promised revenues from the likes of Unilever etc which sadly never really materialised) than the revenue it eventually generated.
    Having said all of the above I hope that this re issue works.

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  • May 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm
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    What’s the difference bewteen this and, say, a price-fixing cartel?

    How can rival firms get together to sell a single-rate package to customers?

    Surely that’s creating a monopoly?

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  • May 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm
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    Re Cherrywonders statement;
    This would simply be offering “National” coverage in a similar way to that of Group sales for ILR’s and ITV’s bundled offerings.
    It would also mainly be offered to major companies who operate across multiple regions of the UK.
    You should have seen the red tops efforts some years back when trying to take regional advertising from local press!!
    Talk about loss leaders – some of the nationals page rates dropped to incredibly low yields!!!! I can remember getting calls from agencies telling me that they were getting rates a low as £3k per page being offered for short term space!!!

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  • May 4, 2012 at 10:54 am
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    As I was told when i first entered regional newspapers, everything’s cyclical.
    New initiative?
    Doesn’t anyone remember The Word?
    If you do, you’ll know how well that worked – not!
    Hope you haven’t put your name to this Gary.

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