Advertising is content in newspapers

By: 
Dennis Warden
Publisher

bet you’ve never considered this before — but if you think about it you would admit it — you read a newspaper as much for the advertising as you do the articles. Why? Because, unlike any other medium, advertising is content in newspapers.

I’m not saying this just because I’m a salesman. I can back it up.

Like most of you I expose myself to other media outlets besides the printed word found on the pages of a newspaper.

When I am driving in my car I have a few choices that I regularly partake of. I have always been a fan of talk radio so my radio dial is often set to KMOX out of St. Louis. The problem with that, as I have expressed before in this column, is every few minutes I am forced to listen to commercials, whether I want to or not. 

Some of these commercials become rather annoying as I have to listen to them over and over again. The only choice I have in the matter is to switch stations (which I have been known to do).

One choice I have in my car’s radio is SiriusXM. I pay for this service in order to be able to listen to music sans commercials.

As a teenager we got around commercials on the radio by listening to recorded music on our 8-Track Players.

After the demise of that format in the early 80s I switched to cassette tapes. The prime advantage of cassettes being anyone could record the music they wanted from their vinyl record collection.

For a long time vehicles have come equipped with CD players. Now all cars include a plug that you can connect your phone to play music.

All of this is because we don’t want to listen to radio commercials. No one turns on a radio to listen to advertising. They are an interruption in the program material.

At home I have a nice TV that I watch in the evenings in order to escape the pressures and stress of the work day. 

My main choice for viewing is Netflix. There are several reasons for this, one being that I don’t watch enough TV to justify paying for cable or satellite TV. Another reason is, of course, there are no commercials on Netflix.

When I was young and we had four channels from the outside antenna, commercials were seen as an opportunity to take a bathroom break or take the trash out.

Now I just hit pause.

For the last couple months I have been trying out a couple other streaming services so I can watch the Cardinals on FoxSports Midwest. I was also able to watch a couple games of the Blues before the Stanley Cup finals. The hardest thing to get used to with these other services is the commercials. I guess I am just spoiled.

Advertising that we are exposed to from radio, TV and websites are intrusive.

Newspaper advertising is different. Number one it is never forced on anyone. In today’s newspaper you will find an advertisement for UTV’s from Precision Water and Power Sports. If you are not interested in purchasing a UTV at this time you can skip over that ad. If you are in the market for one you can read the ad now, or set it aside and read the details of their offer tomorrow or the next day.

Imagine if there was a button on your TV remote that allowed you to skip the commercial or set it aside to watch later.

We do everything we can to ensure that those subscribers who receive their newspaper through the US Postal Service get their paper in a timely manner. 

When someone’s newspaper is late, or lost in the mail we get phone calls. Many times the reason the subscriber is upset is they want to know what is happening in town over the weekend —fund raisers, church picnics, school plays and more. 

This information is more often than not found in advertisements.

In other phone calls I have handled personally the caller wants to know if they will receive a specific insert with their paper before they subscribe. Many people throw away advertising inserts in a newspaper, but there are just as many, or more, who look for the bargains found in inserts placed by our local grocery and hardware stores.

The next time you pick up a newspaper — or consider placing a printed advertisement in a newspaper — remember this, in no other medium does the consumer purchase the product for the advertising.

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On another note, below are two well thought out responses to my column from a couple weeks ago concerning abortion. While they bring up very good points they do not touch on my final argument — a fetus in the womb is a live human being. If this is a moral position, then so is murder. The pro-life position is standing up for the rights of others, the rights of the unborn who cannot speak for themselves.

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