News Corp publishes open letter to advertisers: ‘We’re ready to work with you’

News Corp Australia’s metro mastheads have published an open letter to advertisers saying “It’s our turn to help you”.

The letters, signed off by the publications’ respective managing directors, note that all corners of the community and business sector “including media” are feeling the impact of COVID-19 (cornavirus).

The letter in the Herald Sun (Click to enlarge)

The letter is used as both an opportunity for News Corp to offer its support to brands, and for it to spruik its audience credentials in the midst of the crisis.

“The COVID-19 emergency is powerful evidence that when it really matters, people turn to news from professional, accountable and trusted news organisations,” the multi-city letter reads.

Indeed total readership is up 81% at News Corp Australia, the letter says. In Sydney, Nicholas Gray, the managing director of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, said in his letter that traffic to the Tele’s website is up 46%, while his Melbourne counterpart, Peter Zavecz cites the Herald Sun’s digital traffic as being up 22%. Jason Scott in Brisbane said traffic to The Courier Mail is up 105%. In Adelaide, Ish Davies’ letter in The Advertiser cited a traffic spike to of 74%.

Subscriptions are increasing in the “most dramatic” fashion News Corp has ever seen, supermarkets are selling out of papers, and home deliveries are surging, according to the letter.

“Our audiences are larger and more engaged than ever before. And as [consumers turn] to us, now it’s our turn to help you,” the page two ad says.

“We’re here as your trusted marketing partner at a time when consumers are making important decisions for themselves and their families.

“We don’t know when COVID-19 will end, but we do know that we remain committed to informing and entertaining Australians, and supporting Australian businesses when they need it most.”

News Corp said when the economy bounces back and consumer confidence returns – “and it will” – it wants to make sure businesses are in the best position to grow.

The ads ran on page two of the metro mastheads today. The NT News did not run the ad, nor did The Mercury in Tasmania.

Last week, various media owners alongside the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) urged brands to stop blacklisting COVID-19-associated phrases from their digital media plans. The publishers claimed that by avoiding having ads running next to COVID-19 content, brands were missing out on opportunities to reach consumers, and hurting already stretched essential news services in the process.

And in 2018, the metro mastheads launched an integrated campaign telling consumers ‘We’re for you’.


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