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Advantages and disadvantages of press advertising

Advantages and disadvantages of press advertising

Concept and types of press advertising

Press advertising is a type of advertising that uses print media as a means of communication. Currently, the concept of “press” is understood as traditional print media, in paper form, as well as its electronic counterparts, such as e-newspapers. Advertising should reach a specific target group defined by the advertiser. Therefore, before deciding to place an advertisement in the press, it is necessary to determine the type of press in which it will be placed. The press can have a general or specialized character. It can have a local or national scope and a specific circulation (the higher the circulation, the greater the chance of reaching the target audience). Press advertising can take the form of small text ads, small ads with photos or illustrations, and modular advertising (the most common type). So let’s find out what advantages and disadvantages of press advertising we can find.

Advantages and disadvantages of press advertising in magazines

A magazine is a periodic print publication that appears no more than once a week and at least once a year (weeklies, biweeklies, monthlies). They cover various topics and have a diverse geographic reach, reaching different groups of readers.

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Advantages of press advertising in magazines

  • They have high-quality paper and high-quality printing;
  • Less competition due to fewer ads, which increases the visibility of our ad;
  • Steady and aware readers who read the content with great interest, engagement, and attention;
  • Availability for an extended period in newsstands and other sales points;
  • One magazine copy reaches more people, as magazines are often available in waiting rooms, hair salons, beauty salons, or medical offices. Companies also purchase magazines for a broader range of employees, and a privately purchased magazine copy is also shared with close relatives and friends;
  • They are often collected and kept by buyers as a valuable source of information that can be returned to;
  • Many opportunities to promote a specific service or product due to relatively free choice of ad placement in the magazine as well as the ad format;
  • Choice of a specific issue (for example, the ad can be published in the leading issue or as an addition to the magazine);
  • The possibility of specifying the location of the advertising message, i.e., choosing an appropriate section and subsection (for example, a company that provides moving services can place an ad for its services in the transportation section, in the subsection for moving);
  • Freedom in creating ad content and its format;
  • Free choice of ad airing time, with the possibility of considerable lead time, choosing the desired frequency, and re-airing the ad in subsequent terms;
  • The chance of reaching a previously defined target group, which significantly increases the effectiveness of the ad;
  • The possibility of using:
    • Scented advertising (e.g., in the form of fragrant strips);
    • Product samples (significantly often used to promote cosmetic products such as creams, shampoos, and foundations; samples of culinary products such as spices can also be included);
    • Booklets, bookmarks, stickers, inserts, and promotional coupons, can be used for the relatively analytical effectiveness of print advertising.

Disadvantages of print advertising in magazines

  • Magazines are not published more than once a week, so the frequency of advertising will automatically be low;
  • The printed circulation may not always reach the intended recipient in its entirety due to returns;
  • Advertising in one magazine may not be sufficient, and there may be a need to advertise in several magazines, which increases costs. In principle, it is assumed that a press campaign should be used in one more extended period in many titles at once to achieve the desired image effect – fragmented actions are usually doomed to failure;
  • Advertising materials must be submitted well in advance, so it requires a long-term determination of the advertising strategy by the advertiser;
  • Advertising in the press mainly translates into an image, not sales, so more prominent brands usually exploit it because, in the case of smaller entities, its use may not be justified business-wise, and funds invested in channels that generate higher sales directly;
  • There may be a need to use the services of a qualified designer, which involves additional costs, as publishers sometimes have specific requirements for graphic design.

Advantages of Advertising in Daily Press:

  • The main advantage of advertising in daily press is the high frequency of advertisement, as the newspaper is published 5 or 6 times a week;
  • Low cost of advertising;
  • Possibility of conveying a large amount of information in the advertisement;
  • Possibility of reaching the local customer by placing the advertisement in a regional title;
  • There is no need to submit the advertisement well in advance, which ensures that the ad is up-to-date, for example, about valid promotions on a given day or week.

Disadvantages of Advertising in Daily Press:

  • Disadvantages of advertising in daily newspapers
  • Low quality of paper and printing;
  • High competition due to the number of ads placed, which results in less visibility;
  • The relatively short duration of the advertisement.
  • Titles of daily newspapers are less prestigious.


The advantages and disadvantages of print advertising should be considered in comparison to other forms of advertising that are conducted in other media, such as television, radio, and the Internet. Although print advertising has a rich history, it loses its market share every year to the Internet, where we usually consume content on topics that interest us – usually for free or in a cheaper subscription system. Newspaper sales are declining, so advertising revenue from print advertising is automatically decreasing.

However, print advertising should not be forgotten. Many people still have their favorite print positions, and this group of recipients should not be underestimated. In addition, print advertising, by allowing a sample or other gadget, influences the potential recipient of the ad, not only with an image but also with other senses, which is a significant advantage over other forms of advertising. Print advertising is not perceived negatively. Research shows it is the least critically accepted advertising available on the market.

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Contextual advertising in print, which involves linking a product advertisement to an article on a similar topic, is well received by recipients. However, a significant disadvantage of any print advertising is the practical lack of analytics of its reach, not to mention accurate purchasing decisions or the perception of a given brand in customers’ minds. This is the main factor that distinguishes online advertising, such as Google AdWords, as a positive advertising environment.

Print advertising is not only traditional paper print but also advertising in e-newspapers (with dynamic elements in the form of animations, movies, etc.). Print advertising is often used in comprehensive campaigns, which is complementary to television, radio, or Internet advertising.

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Author of the article

It’s been 8 years since Maciej took his first steps in the world of marketing - especially the one related to content. So far, he has worked for politicians and the b2b and b2c industries. A fan of content marketing in the digital strategy and its influence on customer navigation and brand reputation. He is also interested in the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility and sees this topic as a springboard for the communication development of many businesses. Responsible for marketing in Verseo. In his free time Maciej reads reports from the world and scientific + sci-fi literature. :)