Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Wall Street Journal to ad industry: you're not that important anymore

With newspapers and magazines losing ad pages in the current recession, The Wall Street Journal decided to fire back at the advertising industry and drop their advertising column from five times a week to two.

Well, that will show them a lesson!

Of course, revenge might not be the reason. But when one of the country's biggest newspapers, one with a rich history of analyzing what makes business and consumers tick, decides advertising and marketing don't merit articles more than twice a week, that's a real sad dagger to the heart. Even more egregious in light of the fact that they launched a thrice a week sports section not long ago.

Dow Jones' explanation statement sounded contrived and dubious: "Our hope is that by running the column less often, we can better single out the key trends and issues in the industry, while increasing our ability to leap opportunistically on the news." That's pretty noble.

With this dramatic reduction, the Journal seems to be shooting themselves in the foot, as endemic marketers who would normally advertise in the paper around that column, often the biggest television, interactive and publishing entities, will move their dollars elsewhere.

The Wall Street Journal is in effect saying, "We don't think the advertising industry is that important, and we can live with the loss of ad revenue that goes with it."

Scuttling advertising and marketing coverage may benefit rival ad sales departments of the New York Times, Advertising Age, Adweek, and USA Today. Not only have they continued full coverage, but post breaking stories daily on their web sites.

However, I've saved the biggest irony for last: a newspaper company so desperate for advertising itself has ended up devaluing what it needs the most.

1 comment:

Stuart Foster said...

Seems incredibly short sighted and arrogant on their part to deliberately take a shot at marketers who are pulling out of the newspaper business. Enjoy your faster trip to irrelevance WSJ?