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August 20, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Why Daily Newspaper Web Sites Will Never Win


I am still trying to recover from the nausea induced by the Star Tribune’s web site this weekend. Like placing ads on the front page of different sections of the paper or wrapping a 1/2 page ad over the sports section, the Star Tribune has somehow decided that it’s a good thing to have background ‘wallpaper’ behind their site featuring a local advertiser. What makes the decision especially appalling is that the wallpaper is particularly obnoxious…..I suppose in order to make it stand out and provide extra visibility (as if it needs it). What it does, however, is send me diving for my mouse to click away from the site as fast as I can to avoid throwing up.

When will daily newspapers learn that their primary customers are their readers, not their advertisers? If you effectively serve your readership and place them first in the pecking order, advertisers and their revenue streams will be there to follow. When the pecking order is reversed and advertisers are given top billing, especially when done so at such extreme detriment to the quality of the product being delivered, readers will flee in droves. Eventually, advertisers too will abandon the media due to poor metrics. It’s not that difficult to understand. The Star Tribune must know that the short-term revenue boosts generated from Denny Hecker are destroying their long-term web strategy of building a large and loyal online readership. I guess it’s indicative of the horrendous state of their business that they feel compelled to do it anyway.

[tags]Star Tribune, Online Advertising, How To Scare Away Online Readers, Obnoxious Advertising, Daily Newspapers Should Know Better, Online Advertising Strategies, Denny Hecker, Terrible Advertising Decisions[/tags]

One Comment

  1. gl hoffman / Aug 20 2007 1:47 pm

    I pointed out the same thing some weeks back with my posting about Denny Hecker and the over the top obstrusive cover page-ad. http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds/2007/07/16/if-i-ran-the-railroad-star-tribune-advertising-department/

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