Myth busting series: no.3: No one reads the paper anymore

On a regular basis, we’re going to take on some of the common marketing myths being peddled by the industry.

Why? Because all too often commercial solutions are being recommended to clients based on bias, conjecture and hear-say. We believe all solutions should be based on hard evidence and fact.

No one reads the paper anymore

“No one reads newspapers anymore, it’s all online– so why bother advertising there?” seems to be a common perception in ad-land these days. Though it’s true that overall newspaper numbers (particularly the regional ones) have smaller circulation numbers than 20 years ago, there is still a high proportion of the population reading physical newspapers and many people are buying magazines every week. They still account for big chunks of the time people spend looking at media, and are boosting positive business effects when included in a campaign.

As seen in the graph below from the IPA’s “Media in Focus” – campaigns that include press, in any form, appear to be more successful in terms of their business effects than those that do not. This also held up when budget increase was taken into consideration.

myths IPA Newspaper


What’s more, press advertising has become significantly more effective over the last decade compared to the previous one, following a less pronounced but very similar pattern to TV. This is illustrated in the graph below. This has been proposed to be due to an increased online presence. Just as catch-up TV enhances the effect of live TV, online versions of publications appear to boost the effect of press. On top of this, social media seems to amplify the reach of press in the same way it does for TV ads. Further, search creates a direct response mechanism for press, in the same way it does for TV.

myths IPA Newspaper

So, there you go: as fashionable as it may be to turn your nose up at this ‘old-school’, traditional medium and instead pump more money into exciting new digital tools – it’s important to remember the facts. And the fact is, print, for the time being, is still going strong.