Macy's and local ad dollars

Dateline: Fri 08 Sep 2006

This weekend's change from L.S. Ayres to Macy's will have more of an impact on newspapers than shoppers, but you won't read those headlines in today's Star.

The affect on newspapers was reported in Fort Wayne Observed on Wednesday. See link,

http://indiana.typepad.com/fwob/

Here's what the blog said: "..the ability of Macy's to advertise a national brand means a shift in advertising dollars away from local print."

FWO then references a story from the Wall Street Journal from that same day by Vanessa O'Connell. She reports that Federated Department Stores Inc. is launching a national ad TV campaign, both network and cable, for its 800 stores.

"The spots aren't gleeful at all for local newspapers, which have counted on full-page color ads and other newsprint pitches from Macy's and other chains owned by Federated," writes O'Connell. "Anlysts predict local papers stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the next few years, because Federated historically has been one of their largest retail advertisers."

The Star reports today on the end of the L.S. Ayres era and mentions that Federated is reducing by 20 percent the number of days it will run coupons in newspapers. Instead, coupons will go by mail direct to credit-card holders. (That said, Macy's does have a double-spread ad in the A section of today's newspaper, as well as a back-page ad).

Some years back, a long-gone marketing director at the paper confided that Star employees should thank their lucky stars every day for L.S. Ayres. The department store's hefty ad revenue carried the paper, she said. Marsh was another stalwart.

Goodbye to all that.

Contact me: ruth@ruthholladay.com

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