Global: French media sites unite in ad-blocker fight

Global: French media sites unite in ad-blocker fight

French media sites are taking a collective stand against ad blockers with a new campaign designed to educate consumers about the impact of the software and get them to de-activate their blockers.

The campaign is being co-ordinated by trade associated Geste and has attracted the support of some of the country’s biggest media websites including Le Monde, The Team, Le Figaro and Marie Claire.

Participants are given freedom in how they execute the campaign. Some sites ask while others require ad blocking users to de-activate the software before accessing content and each site can deploy its own message to readers about the software.

Le Monde is displaying a message from its editor Jerome Fenoglio that reads: “For our 400 journalists to provide you each day with high-quality, reliable and varied news … we must be able to rely on advertising revenue.”

‘Non-core’ newsbrands on the chopping block: Johnston Press

One of the largest publishers of local newspapers in the UK, Johnston Press, has announced plans to sell or run at a lower cost a number of its “non-core” newsbrands.

The plans were announced during the company’s annual results where chief executive officer Ashley Highfield said Johnston would concentrate this year “on attractive geographies, serving more defined audience groups that represent the best opportunities for growth”.

Johnston Press earlier this year identified 59 of its titles as “sub core”, although a spokesperson told pressgazzette.co.uk that the “sub core” label did not “automatically mean we’re about to close or sell these titles”.

“These are the titles where we are looking to establish new innovative models to enable us to improve the levels of return,” the spokesperson said.

It comes after shareholders overwhelming voted in support of Johnston’s plan to purchase British newspaper i, the sister publication of The Independent.

Higher subs revenue helps The Times to profit

The Times of London and The Sunday Times have posted a pre-tax profit of £10.9 million, driven by increased subscription revenues and cost reductions.

The results for the 12 months to the end of June 2015 were filed on Wednesday with Companies House.

The Guardian reports that the improved financial performance comes a year after the company reported its first operating profit for 13 years in 2014.

The pre-tax profit marks a turnaround at the titles owned by News UK after they recorded a loss of more than £70 million in 2009, the year prior to the introduction of digital subscriptions.

Total paid sales combining print and digital were down 1 per cent for The Times to 541,000 from 547,000 and down 3 per cent for The Sunday Times from 986,000 to 953,000.

The decline at The Times was driven primarily by a 6 per cent fall in digital readers, offset by a 1 per cent increase in print circulation.

The Guardian reports that the sales decline was offset by increased revenues from price increases during the year as well as cost cutting.

The Times said price rises for the daily edition and digital-only packages in January 2014, followed by an increase in print subscription prices in February 2015, had led to an increase in circulation revenue.

UK papers launch agenda-setting campaign

A coalition of UK newspaper groups has launched a multimedia advertising campaign that highlights newspapers’ unique role in agenda-setting and influencing “opinion formers”.

The six-week campaign will be run in out-of-home placements and across 19 national newspaper titles in print and digital, including The Sun, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.

Rufus Olins, chief executive of NewsWorks UK which is spearheading the campaign, said the fact that news brands reach 46 million people a month still surprised quite a few people.

“It’s more than the number of people who use Google and testament to the way newsbrand content is finding new and bigger audiences and continuing to set the nation’s agenda. This campaign helps to land that message and reminds people of the important role they play,” he said.

The campaign is the second to be created by agency Hobbs Holmes Marcantonio for NewsWorks under the slogan “Nothing works like news works”.

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