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NAA: Newspaper Ad Spending Ready For Takeoff In 2004

Press release from the issuing company

January 12, 2004 -- Vienna, Va. – The amount of money marketers spend on newspaper advertising is expected to increase by about 4.1 percent in the coming year, according to the 2004 forecast for the newspaper business, published in the January issue of Presstime magazine. Presstime is the flagship publication of the Newspaper Association of America. In the article, “Ready for Takeoff,” NAA Vice President of Research and Business Analysis James Conaghan compares the burgeoning economic and advertising recovery to a jumbo jet rumbling down the runway: “The good news for 2004 is that both the economy and the advertising marketplace now have enough thrust to get back into the air.” Classified ad spending, which has been dragged down by the weakness in the recruitment category, is expected to increase by 4.5 percent. National and retail ad spending in newspapers, which was strong throughout 2003, should increase by 6.5 percent and 3 percent respectively, according to Conaghan. In addition, optimism in the employment sector is good news for newspapers, writes Conaghan, and should bring gains in recruitment ad dollars “in the upper single digits for the full year.” “Even as the economy started to show the first signs of turning around last year, the jobless nature of the recovery meant that all employment classifieds lagged behind,” said John F. Sturm, NAA president and CEO. “Whether we’re talking about newspapers, online postings or the bulletin board at your neighborhood market, there just weren’t many jobs available. Now that the jobs are returning, classified publishers will benefit, and newspapers have been as innovative as anyone in positioning themselves to capture much of that business.” In his article, Conaghan comments on the following categories: · Real estate advertising. If interest rates begin to float upward, the housing market is likely to relinquish its position as the economic growth leader. While real estate advertising should continue to be strong, it may not reach the level of percentage increases of the past three years. · Auto. While there is some concern that fewer people will be shopping for a new vehicle in 2004, a number of new models are being launched and marketed, which should result in more ad dollars in circulation. · Retail. Retail advertising stands to benefit from an improving economy and more job seekers returning to work. Preprints and smaller retail categories should lead the way. · National. In a year when the Olympics and the presidential election will likely crowd some advertisers out of the television market, newspapers should benefit from limited broadcast inventory. Categories such as travel and telecommunications should continue to do well.