Marketers should increase their investments in news – strategist

By Abimbola Mohammed

Lou Paskalis, Chief Strategy Officer, Ad Fontes Media, has said that marketers need to overcome their fears in this brave new world and continue to invest more in the news as a key advertising channel.

According to Paskalis, news audiences are more affluent and influential than those reachable in primetime or via general interest, lifestyle and sports media. He added that the fears of bad associations or brand adjacencies have been largely debunked by multiple industry studies because those fears are costing marketers money.

The chief strategist, who made this call at a hybrid webinar organized by Brave New World, added that, in the last fifteen years, 70% of marketers have pulled back from investing in news advertising.

His words: “The news is the news but the news about news isn’t good and you are part of the problem. I say that with all humility. I think what has happened over time is that marketers have really embraced brand safety suitability; that’s what they do to avoid controversy. They believe news delivers colorizing content so they moved away from it.

“Specifically, marketers have pulled back in investing in news advertising by 70% in a fifteen-year period ending just before the pandemic. The demand for news in the next few months is going to change; it’s going to be an all time bomb. Eye balls are moving to news from the safe life style content, safe recipe content that we are advertising today because we don’t want to be associated with hard-news.”

He added: “The challenges are that we have a low record of trusting news. There have been a lot of explosive tasks on news; people who don’t like facts just attack the facts. Before now people used to trust the news like 75-80%, but now it is down at the bottom to 34% and continues to decline. So, not only do we have a reduction in people supplying the news, we have a collapse of trusting news.

“There is overwhelming data in news. Consumers will prefer brands to advertise in news even if it’s controversial to them avoiding being in the news all together. One in three consumers trust brands more if they advertise within the siren or upsetting news of their preferred news sources while 1 in 3 sees no impact either positive or negative.”

Paskalis noted that there is tremendous unduplicated reach that can be found in news now, because advertisers have moved away from news for so long that there is massive unduplicated reach there. He said unduplicated reach is like the holy grail, “it’s right there in front of you in the news.”


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