Advertising in newspapers: how effective is that?

Sep 23, 2020 | Articles

Andrea Burgueño

Andrea Burgueño


Despite the many voices predicting the death of the newspaper industry, it is still very much alive. Alive and, in fact, kicking. Recent studies confirm that newspapers play a vital role informing people during the pandemic. Newspapers, on- and offline, seem to be valued and needed again. They can deliver vital information in an effective way, but what about ads? Is advertising in newspapers still worthwhile?

The answer is: yes. Ads in newspapers are much more effective than on other channels. Here is why.

Newspapers are a trusted source of information.

In general, people trust newspapers. A study by NewsMediaWorks in Australia found a direct correlation between trust in content and advertising. Ads in news media were the most trusted. Also by Millennials and ages under 35.


This level of trust is related to the fact that newspapers have been historically delivering credible and in-depth information every day. That’s the reason why readers expect advertising to be equally trustworthy. It is basically the so-called “halo effect”.

Trust drives sales.

According to the NAA (Newspaper Association of America), 81% of adults visited a brand’s local store after seeing a newspaper ad. Also, NewsLocal, an Australian publishing business, found out that 72% of readers go in-store looking for the products featured in sale ads in their local newspaper. But that’s not all. 66% go in-store to browse after reading a sale ad.

NewsLocal concluded that Australian “readers are more likely to act on, keep or share content in regional newspapers compared with TV, Radio or catalogues”.


Despite the struggle of many local newspapers to survive, according to Macromark, 67% of small-town residents in the US read their local newspaper at least once a week. 78% of them consider it their main source of information about local news, and 71% admit that their ads had an impact on their buying decisions.

Also, NewsMediaWorks points out:

The NMA UK’s neuroscience research has demonstrated the power of national newspaper advertising to drive a strong emotional response; in tests the emotional response to newspapers ads was stronger than response to the TV ads tested. Tracking of in-market campaigns has reinforced this finding; 20 in-market studies provided clear evidence of national newspapers strength in generating increased emotional identification.


This means that not all of the reasons why we trust newspapers may be rational. Many studies prove that emotions with positive valence increase trust.

So, is advertising in newspapers an interesting option for brands?

If you are looking for a short and clear answer, this is it: yes, it is. There are in fact many other reasons to advertise in newspapers:

  • Because print is already a target-specific medium, it continues to be valuable (especially where there is a physical customer presence).
  • Luxury consumers prefer tangible ad platforms.
  • Ads in print and online newspapers work in a complementary way, meaning print and digital campaigns are fully integrated.
  • Newspapers can be more effective than any other media when advertising in a hyper-local environment.
  • Readers are engaged with the publication, so ads have a much better acceptance that the ones on other channels.

Why should brands advertise in newspapers?

Newspapers are considered a trusted source of information for many people, which makes advertising in this format much more effective than on other channels.

What formats provide more trust in their audience?

Newspapers come first as the most trusted source of information in advertising but not so much in relation to content. On the other hand, the most trusted media sources in both content and ads are online news sources and radio.

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