With declining newspaper sales and more and more people reading the headlines on their smart phones, it’s fair to say that many people believe that digital leads the way for the future of the news industry.
However, last week the power of print advertising was shown to still be strong. An open letter to the United Kingdom from Argentinean president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, was published in the form of newspaper advertisements in the Guardian and the Independent. They called for Britain to hand over the Falklands back to Argentina, in a colonial battle stretching hundreds of years.
The Sun retaliated on behalf of Britain and its readers by placing an advert in Spanish and English in Buenos Aires Herald, telling Argentina to keep their ‘hands off’ the British-owned islands.
The incident has, in fact, sent an influential political message, and highlighted the forthcoming referendum in which the inhabitants of the island will be able to choose who they wish to be governed by.
This isn’t the only example where print advertising has had a high political impact. Remember back to 2011 when News of the World published adverts of apology in every national newspapers after the phone hacking scandal?
In a thoroughly digitalised western world where over half of Americans receive their news online, it is significant to note the importance of print advertising. Though readership may be falling and its influence reining, a senior sales person for the Mirror recently informed a group of young journalists at a conference that she could sell a high key, full page, colour advert in her paper for a whopping £48,300, which shocked us all. Companies, charities and other organisations still want to pay for their logos in a paper format, as they believe it will aid their business.
On the students’ newspaper front, large companies still want to advertise with us in print (sometimes even more so than online) because they are guaranteed a certain audience, a certain print run, and can have a greater degree of control as to the output. Print advertising still makes up a high proportion of our overall sales.
Print propaganda has been around for as long as print has, and it’s still having an impact today in the form of newspapers. Though it is important to embrace digitization and forms of new media, do not underestimate the power of an advertisement in a newspaper.
Do you agree? Do print media and advertisements still hold power in today’s digital work? Tweet us @wannabehacks and let us know your thoughts.
Photo: United Nations
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look