Mark is spot on, newspapers are selling a one-size-fits-all display ad model to local advertisers who won’t buy banners and they are trying to sell these through a sales force ill-equipped and uninterested in selling online ad inventory.
There’s a good but depressing article in the Wall Street Journal about how newspapers are continuing to fall behind in the local online advertising derby–even as their print ad revenues are ebbing away. According to Borrell statistics cited in the story, newspaper share of the local online ad market has fallen to 27.4 percent from 35.9 percent two years ago. Things aren’t going in the right direction. That’s not good–especially when the overall local online advertising market is growing, ahem, at a 57 percent annual clip.
[From Recovering Journalist: Local Ad Dollars, Slip Sliding Away]
For my take on newspapers and local ads click here for something I wrote a few weeks ago.