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Big names increase local ad spend in lockdown says publisher

The UK’s biggest independent publisher is reporting what it describes as “incredible changes” in the patterns of local press advertising spend from big name companies and organisations over the past year.

The Midland News Association, publishers of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star, says that while some big companies like McDonalds have cut their ad spend, others such as the big supermarket chains have increased theirs.

Meanwhile the UK government increased its own spend by more than 240pc as it sought to keep readers updated on Covid-19, Brexit and the 2021 Census, becoming comfortably the MNA’s biggest advertiser over the past year.

Supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda increased advertising as the demand for home deliveries and click and collect soared, but at the same time holiday companies took a back seat as they waited for travel restrictions to ease.

Jeff Lawrenson
Jeff Lawrenson, pictured, national sales manager for the MNA, said: “It is a tough market but some of the country’s biggest names are increasing their spending in the local press.

“Spending from the government has been incredible, and has increased by more than 240pc compared to the same time last year. It’s great to see the government leading the way in valuing the important job that the local press does in getting those vital messages out to their readers.

“Until now the Government was the third biggest advertiser across all UK media, behind Unilever and Sky, however last year they were propelled into the number one spot across the UK and comfortably MNA’s biggest advertiser. We know this will decrease as the vaccine roll out continues and the risks from Covid reduces.

“The supermarkets stayed with us throughout the last year and one of the biggest increases came from Co-op as consumers decided to shop at local stores and not travel far.

“Recently we have seen travel company TUI start advertising their Get Away Gurus, which is focused on the experts they have in their retail shops that can advise people on their next holiday.

“Also, Rolex will be advertising with six local newspapers around the UK and we are thrilled they have chosen the Express & Star as the one that will carry the most adverts for them.”