Print can’t even market itself well, Shafer says

Jack Shafer, media critic for Slate, is not so impressed with the Newspaper Association of America ad campaign aimed at persuading advertisers that newspapers remain a viable marketing medium.

The ads are “so bad I can imagine advertisers interpreting it as the newspaper industry’s no-confidence vote in itself,” Shafer says. “Nobody would blame advertisers if they looked at the NAA ad and used it as an excuse to pull their buys from … papers.”

A second campaign for magazines that the Magazine Publishers of America recently claimed is working also fails to impress Shafer, though he doesn’t explain specifically why.

“If anybody understands how to make a print advertisement that really, really works, it should be newspaper and magazine people,” Shafer says. “But these two campaigns are so bumbling, so unpersuasive, so dull, that you’ve got to wonder whether any advertising intelligence went into making them. Maybe the goal was to sell the newspaper and magazine businesses as outposts of the desperate and pitiful worthy of advertiser charity. If so, Clios all around.”

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