Interactive ads save newspapers

The 'Adget' will allow online readers to interact with businesses without leaving the newspaper's site.

By Chris Morrison, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- Newspaper ad sales are expected to decline 5 percent in 2007, so it's no surprise that print publications are eager to squeeze more cash out of their Web sites.

One obvious source: local advertising, which accounts for more than 80 percent of ad spending but less than 20 percent of Internet ad sales.

Ad attack: Gruntsev says the Adget gives local papers an online advantage.

Now Canadian firm NewspaperDirect is offering the Adget, a new kind of ad that allows online readers to interact with a business - make an appointment, book a restaurant table, even order a product - without ever leaving the newspaper site. Want to arrange a test-drive at a local dealership while browsing the sports section? The Adget can do it.

NewspaperDirect expects this to appeal to local advertisers that don't want to build their own flashy Web sites. "eBay offered customers their own substores within the main Web site," says Alex Gruntsev, NewspaperDirect's VP for business development. "We're offering small advertisers the same in their ad."

Some print veterans can't wait. "This will replace traditional advertising," says Mary Van Meter, publisher of trade magazine Newspapers & Technology. "I'm ready to start using it."  Top of page

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