Sunday Inserts and Supplements are Dead! Long Live Sunday Inserts and Supplements!
by Al McClain
of us "industry insiders" know that newspapers are going out of business,
paper coupons are history (not withstanding a brief respite due to our
recent economic travails), and shopper promotions are going online, mobile,
or in-store. One thing we can say with absolute certainty is that advertising
via Sunday inserts and supplements in local newspapers is not the way
of the future! So say we all.
so fast. If this is all true, then can someone tell me why the most recent
Sunday edition of my local paper (The
Palm Beach Post,
2009) included a stack of inserts approximately an inch high with
offerings from 23 retailers, 3 manufacturers, plus two multi-sponsored
with inserts included CompUSA, OfficeMax, Sears, BrandsMart USA, Total
Wine, Firestone, Sports Authority, Target, Office Depot, World Market,
JCPenney (2), BestBuy, Bealls, Michaels, Mattress X-Press, Kmart, Publix,
Walgreens, Toys R Us, Radio Shack, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and CVS. Manufacturers
included DirecTV, Sony, and Dell. And, the coupon supplements included
offerings from an astounding 51 manufacturers, 9 retailers, 9 restaurant
chains, and 6 service companies.
at an industry conference, an acquaintance said to me, "You still subscribe
to a newspaper?,"
as if I were still guilty of still using an abacus, or maybe a stone
tablet. Living in an area of the country with many retirees and golf
courses, maybe my newspaper is an anomaly.
My gut feeling, however, is that we may be too quick to write off traditional
advertising and promotional methods in our RetailWire discussions. Perhaps
this is due to the tendency of our enlightened readers to know about
the latest and greatest high-tech methods for reaching consumers and
guess the easy answer is that retailers and manufacturers are just biding
time, using these old-fashioned methods until their day of reckoning
comes, and the powerhouses of the new methods emerge. But, for a dying
industry, newspaper inserts and supplements still seem
to have a lot of life left in them.
Questions: Are newspaper inserts still an 800 pound gorilla when it comes
to consumer promotion? With so many new and emerging methods to target
consumer promotions, why are so many blue-chip retailers and manufacturers
still using old-fashioned newspaper circulars and supplements?