The Los Angeles Times is for sale, classified and displayed ads are under pressure. Magazine and newspaper publishers and TV companies feel the threat of the web in the search for advertising dollars.
There are at least two suitable weapons of retaliation, readily available, which publishers have been slow to seize on and wield. Print publishers should make sure that their advertisements appear on the web exactly as they do in print and are usefully clickable when they appear. Web distribution of the print ads reinforces the value of the print service. Useful ‘clickability’ means making the urls, the emails and even the phone numbers an instant means of reader response: a simple click-through. Second, why not deploy Google text ads as an additional source of revenue? It has been interesting to see the way this works for Thelondonpaper — try a search on ‘dentist’ or ‘Arsenal’ to see how Google copes with the London context. Google text ads have been running on this service for the last week and they are mostly ‘spot on’.