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Buy a paper, culture minister Oliver Dowden tells public

In an article in The Times on Saturday, Dowden asks brands and the public to support the news industry. 

News readership online is at an all-time high. However, publishers are finding it difficult to monetise its traffic due to ad blocklisting.

The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has called on the UK’s top 100 biggest brands, such as Sky and Tesco, to stop ad blocking news on the pandemic. The use of overzealous blocklists has led to a projected loss of £50 million for the industry.

At the same time, the lockdown has led to ad bookings dropping and newsstand sales decreasing.

In his letter to the country’s biggest ad buyers, he wrote about the news industry being the “fourth emergency service”, providing readers will information at a time of national crisis. 

He added: “These are exceptional circumstances and the wide-scale blocking of advertising appearing next to Covid-19 related stories cannot be right at a time when there is a clear public interest in people having access to reliable, trusted news content.” 

To the public, his message is simple: “buy a paper.”

Read the full article via The Times here.

by Hannah Ohm Thomas 20/04/20

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