Australian Newsagency Blog

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Paranoia, selfishness and ignorance deny newsagents achieving a better return on newspaper publisher promotions

Mark Fletcher
February 22nd, 2016 · 5 Comments

IMG_6106The Dr Seuss promotion run nationally by News Corp. over the last two weeks has been a terrific success, driving traffic and purchases in response to TV advertising and house ads in the papers.

Aside from the issue in some states of senseless cutting of newspapers supply by News and the appalling margin in most states for the Dr Seuss books at at the heart of the promotion, News has missed an opportunity tholepin newsagents make many times more from this promotion. This is why I say:

Paranoia, selfishness and ignorance deny newsagents achieving a better return on newspaper publisher promotions 

Paranoia because News will not share details in a high-profile campaign like this early enough for newsagents to source other product in the same licence.

Selfishness because News only looks at a promotion like this from the perspective of their company when a less selfish approach could make the promotion more profitable for newsagents and therefore drive greater support from them.

Ignorance in that News people have not made themselves adequately aware of the opportunities for newsagents with allied product.

Take the Dr Seuss promotion, given enough time newsagents and / or their marketing groups could have sourced licenced Dr Seuss product to sell alongside the News titles during the promotion. This would have made the promotion more valuable to newsagents. It could have also driven even  more newspaper sales than the promotion itself drove.

But these things take time to organise. In the case of Dr Seuss licenced product, given how decisions are made around it. it could have taken at least six months to undertake necessary negotiations. Once newsagents knew that it was a Dr Seuss promotion it was too late. The opportunity was lost.

News and other publishers need to consider more that their products are a piece of a large jigsaw for newsagents. They are no longer a stand alone jigsaw. For them to be genuinely valuable to newsagents we need earlier, more transparent and more thoughtful engagement. Stop worrying about a competitor finding out. When it comes to newspapers in Australia, we don’t have genuine competition – far from it even in two newspaper cities.

While News has in the past briefed some or all the groups on promotions, it is too late for sourcing licenced product that needs to be imported. I’d love to see this change.

This is not a blog post that should anger folks at News. No, they should see this post it as an opportunity to work smarter so newsagents make more money and more deeply engage with their next major licence promotion.


Category: Newsagency opportunities · Newspaper marketing · Newspapers

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David@anglevalenews // Feb 22, 2016 at 1:02 PM



  • 2 Amanda // Feb 25, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    Hi Mark,

    I have noticed our subagent commission drop to 11%. for newspapers here in NSW. Is this the new rate or am i being ripped off?

    Would appreciate some feedback from NSW agents.


  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Feb 26, 2016 at 7:09 AM

    Amanda, I this this is a consequence of the new commission model where there is no set percentage any more. Set die was cast several years ago.


  • 4 Amanda // Feb 26, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    Thanks Mark.

    So 11% is now the going rate for all subagents I assume?


  • 5 Paul // Feb 26, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    10% in Qld.


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