Advertisers spend record sums in national newspapers in 1999


Advertisers spent a record £181.3 million (€230.2 million) on newspaper advertising in 1999. The figure is a 12 per cent increase on the previous year and represents the advertising revenue generated by the 11 newspaper titles represented by the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI).

Revenue from advertising agencies accounted for £103.5 million of the total while classifieds and small advertisements contributed almost £78 million.

Commenting on the strong figures, Mr Gavin O'Reilly, chairman of the NNI said: "The strong growth in 1999 follows successful year-on-year growth. Total receipts of £181.3 million equate to a doubling of advertising spend on our titles since 1995."

Media fragmentation by virtue of the wide choice now available to consumers has become a buzz word in the advertising industry and, according to Mr O'Reilly, increasing fragmentation means advertisers are interested in a guaranteed audience reach at the right price. "I've said it previously," he added, "but, in terms of content provision and market reach, the newspaper has become the ultimate browser."

The figures were announced by the NNI last night at an awards ceremony where the top spending advertising agencies were named. For the sixth successive year, McConnells/MCM/Dimension topped the NNI league table of 25 agencies, spending more than £9.5 million in the press. They first won this award in 1994, spending £2.68 million - an indication of the growth in the sector.

Mr Aidan Dunne, chief executive of MCM, said his agency's high spend reflected the overall strength of the advertising industry and of the economy in general. "Newspapers are very strong at the moment," he said. "Television advertising is getting dearer and dearer, which is forcing a re-evaluation of that medium and some brands are finding that they're getting better value in print."

McConnells has a separate recruitment advertising division and the increased volume in recruitment advertising also helped boost MCM's figure in 1999.

Mr Dunne predicts even stronger growth in newspaper advertising, particularly in the latter half of this year when companies begin to advertise seriously in order to establish their brands.

The award for highest increase in expenditure went to Brindley Advertising. Their spending of £7.4 million in 1999 was an increase of £2 million on 1998. According to Mr Michael McCabe, media director at Brindley's, the increase was not due to the acquisition of new accounts but to existing clients such as Wella and Opel spending more.

The award for the highest percentage increase in expenditure went to Euro RSCG (formerly Arks), which increased its newspaper advertising spending by 144 per cent to £2.7 million. "We've seen a growth in spend across all media," said Mr Paul Cullen, media director at Euro RSCG. "Press is a lovely medium for retail, and clients of ours such as Eircell and Ryan Hotels have retail offerings that suit the quick response medium that newspapers deliver."

The three winning agencies were presented with specially commissioned sculptures by Mr John Coll.