Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Son of the Ghost of Required Reading

Pew Internet Survey: more people surfing just for fun, significantly more than in 2004. That means only one thing: more time away from TV, more time to discover content that would otherwise have been printed. Am I the only one who understands this? Sometimes I wonder.
Press release:

Merrill Lynch report on newspapers "2005: A Year to Forget." Sure, I've had those myself, but I'm not a multibillion dollar industry. Their outlook isn't all that hot, either.

Classified ads: How newspapers can fight back
Newspapers aren't using all their assets to fend off online competition for classified-ad revenues.

Newspaper inserts are still a good market, and I think direct marketers will start using them in coming years (for some reason, I'm alone in that thought, too). This survey was funded by a newspaper insert printer, so you have to remember the source from a researcher's perspective, as one should always, but is not so inconsistent with other things that I have seen historically.

The USPS will have Dilbert as a spokesman. Not really, but this news of their latest direct mail ad campaign just put me at a loss for words. Dilbert cartoons will highlight USPS services and be sent as direct mail cards to businesses. Why does the postal service use mail to promote itself? Because for them, the postage is ... free!
I thought cyclist Lance Armstrong was under contract with them. Can't they just have him ride around the country and hand stuff out? :) Oh, that's right, they fired him (they withdrew sponsorship of the cycling team) because Priority Mail use went down during the period of their campaign. has some postal service news you don't really see elsewhere.

TNS Media Intelligence Forecasts 5.4 Percent Increase in U.S. Advertising Spending for 2006; Hispanic Network Television, the Internet and Cable Network Television Show Largest Growth

Verizon Chief Marketing Office reams into ad agency execs and their "antiquated media plans." Here's a quote from the article:
[Verizon spends] $1 billion a year for advertising on "overvalued, inefficient, rapidly eroding mass-market advertising platforms that continue to underdeliver," and that like many other major marketers, he is "not happy" with that situation.
La-dee-dah... Verizon is a horrible company to deal with as a consumer (we know from personal experience and the experiences of others)... perhaps they should spend $1 billion on improving customer service. Hiring people to answer the phones might be a good start. I switched to VOIP provider Vonage when Verizon could not get horrible noise out of our business lines. We use Skype a lot now, too. They'll never get us back.

Auto industry moving to use Internet advertising more heavily than before; they've been among the most aggressive magazine advertising groups... watch out!

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