Is there hope for newspapers after all? The Wall Street Journal’s Managing Editor Robert Thomson says “yes.” Why? Because advertisers who tried the Internet are returning to the safety of dead trees:
Reuters: [Advertisers] are seeking to spend money in ways that are proven by decades of experience, said Thomson. “People are looking for a safe harbor in times of turbulence.”
Thomson believes that advertisers are starting to understand that consumers often ignore ads in other media because they are doing other things at the same time that sap their attention.
With papers, the ads may be more valuable because they stick around with the printed page. Online, people get distracted, flipping from page to page, and if they notice ads at all, it is because they are annoyed by their intrusion.
“The only multi-tasking that you can do while reading a newspaper is drink a cup of coffee,” he said.
OK, Robert, but what about the 90% of the paper that ends up unread in our recycling barrel? How do advertisers know anyone even saw those ads? We understand why advertisers are clinging to to the tried and true, but what happens when no one even reads dead-tree papers anymore?