News & Opinion

Newsbrands on shaping society

It is day three at the world festival of creativity Cannes Lions and two of the news industry’s biggest profiles have come together to discuss the power of newsbrands.

Campaign’s global head of media Gideon Spanier was joined on stage at the Clear Channel Garden by Geordie Greig, editor of Mail Newspapers and Martin Clarke, Mail and Metro publisher to talk about whether newsbrands still shape society and to look at some of the ways that journalism manifests itself today.

Journalism is “reporting about ordinary people with extraordinary lives”

Greig kicked off the discussion by taking us back to the foundations of journalism and how it has evolved into the industry we see today. Journalism has always been there to question society and find the answers – as Clarke aptly summed it up as “daily questions, daily answers, daily mail”. 

Talking about the industry we see today, Greig referred to his paper as “the voice of middle Britain” aiming to achieve “the betterment of Britain” where journalism’s role is to tell the best stories and report “about ordinary people with extraordinary lives”.

Recent campaigns by the publication show the impact of newsbrands very clearly. Through public awareness campaigns such as the “Hospital Helpforce”, the publication encouraged people from across the country to pledge to volunteer for the NHS. The campaign resulted in 22,000 volunteers, signing up to almost 1.5 million hours of volunteering this year. The drive was the biggest in Britain post 2012 Olympics.

Trust in news

This week, trust has been the talk of the town here at Cannes Lions. Spanier turned his questions to brand safety and at the “blunt” brand safety tools that are often overly cautious and that result in advertisers paying more for what’s on offer. As a result, Clarke and Greig called on brands to support news and utilise the brand loyalty and commitment that audiences reading newsbrands have.

Staying with the theme of trust, Clarke talked about fake news and commented that “one man’s fake news is another man’s truth”. He addressed the fact that we need to be wary of how we refer to what is considered to be fake news and that as an industry, we must not be suffocated by the difference in opinions. Greig added that all newspapers report the same story differently and that we need to be careful of how we label content as fake news. 

For more information on rebuilding trust in the advertising industry, read the reflections on a recent Cannes Lions Advertising Association panel here.

The future of news

Looking forward, Clarke declared that “we would be a very sad society without news” – the audience nodded in agreement. He added that we are not in the business of managing decline, and just looking at today’s PAMCo numbers, we see an industry that is growing as newsbrands reach an additional one million readers every day. 

Moving forward, investing in journalism and building on its heritage and legacy will help the industry expand and target greater audiences. Newsbrands drive revenue in different ways with the common denominator being what Greig refers to as “addicted, fascinated and direct audiences that come to you every day” – without them, you won’t survive.

Watch out for updates from Cannes Lions 2019 on the Cannes Lions hub and on Twitter.

Ad Association 20/06/19

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