Print Will Try “We’re Not Useless” Ad Campaign

The ever crucial Jack Shafer recently pointed to one of my favorite little mysteries of the media industry: when newspapers and magazines take out their own ads to promote their well being. Take this ad for magazines:

I love when Mr. Shafer gets on a rant, so I turn it over to him:

If anybody understands how to make a print advertisement that really, really works, it should be newspaper and magazine people. But these two [new advertising] 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.

(Why do I get so entertained by this? It happened last year, too. When newspaper execs wanted to convince advertisers around Thanksgiving, they also went with the full page billboard. Still about as useful.)


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