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April 08, 2009


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Michael Maedel, president, JWT Worldwide in this interview with agencyfaqs says: "Competition for us is companies like Google"

Ryan Thomas

I had this thought:

I read a ton of 'news' a day, mostly from specialized sources. The information age has made me pick and choose my sources. I can't know about everything in detail - there are not enough hours in the day.

I am the problem (27 Professional and not reading the daily paper). I need specific information to succeed.

Newspapers don't offer that in an assessable way. Specialized sources do. I'll pay for the privilege of knowing my information is accredited and unique to my needs.

I don't care about who died today, or about a shoot out. That information is needless to me. It's a downer and it offers no reward for my time.

Yet, despite this I read investigative journalism. Real pieces that offer a new and exhaustive view point on things I care about, or don't know about. The BBC does this. National Geographic does this.

If you want to change your business, start by attacking the old stereotype: "If it bleeds, it leads".

Here for example are the headlines in Toronto today.

The Star: Baby Kaylee transplant plan called off

The Sun: Baby heart transplant put on hold

Globe and Mail: Father fights on for transplant, even without life-giving slumber

The National Post: Heart transplant drama unfolds in Toronto

There is an old expression in advertising: "What's in it for me?" not one of these stories offers anything to me. No USP to be found, no how you can help, nothing.

If I was an advertiser, I would approach a news source and promise them an amazing campaign - one that attacks the idea that bleeds = leads. I would have my copywriters give lessons on how to include readers, involving and motivating them.

If it's 200 years of business as usual, how are the papers allowed to get angry?


Anyone who aggregates data will always make more money then those who provide it. It's a race to the bottom that is a real problem with the Internet. Yet it's not going away.

Instead of pissing away money why not find your brands problem and USP and do the old solve-and-pitch.

But hey I'm just a copywriter looking for work - not a Conrad Black.

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