Washingtonpost.com Launches Trade Campaign

The Washington Post Company is unveiling its first trade advertising campaign for washingtonpost.com, in a move to promote the site to a larger body of advertisers.

Washingtonpost.com, which is published by Washington Post Company’s new media unit Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, will unveil a set of print and online ads designed to promote the site’s audience to advertisers — especially those wishing to reach a national audience.

The ads, designed by Washington, D.C-based agency Fahey-Davidson, aim to convey to advertisers that despite its print parent’s largely D.C. area-distribution, washingtonpost.com attracts visitors nationally.

Copy in the first print execution reads, “We’re the #1 news site for the national audience you want. Affluent. Educated. Influential.” The ad also cites internal, Nielsen NetRatings and DoubleClick @plan figures showing that 80 percent of washingtonpost.com users are based outside of the D.C. area.

“Washingtonpost.com has one of the most desirable national audiences of any top news site,” said Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Chief Executive Chris Schroeder. “Our strength in Washington is well known, but we want to deliver the message that 80 percent of our users are from outside of the D.C. area. The goal of this campaign is to reach out to national advertisers who may not realize the strength of our national audience.”

In addition to print and online ads beginning this week, the company said it would launch direct mail and other efforts in coming months.

The news comes as Web publishers are trying to position themselves to take advantage of an expected upswing in online advertising spending. Research firm eMarketer last month forecast an 11 percent increase in Internet ad spending during 2002, bringing the industry’s revenue roughly back to its 2000 levels.

For its part, washgintonpost.com weathered 2001 fairly well, increasing year-to-year revenue about 12 percent to $30.4 million. The firm saw a 4 percent drop-off in fourth quarter, however, primarily related to a major decline in October. In November and December, revenues again showed increases.

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