Wrap it up

Two of the three free dailies in Amsterdam this morning – Metro and Spits – had an advertising wrap: front and back space containing an ad, the ‘real’ paper beginning on page 3.

The Metro one was far more appealing: just one big picture wanting you to know more about it: “what’s this black sheep doing there?” The ad was from telecom and internet operator Tele2, with the catch line on page 2: “born to be cheap.” (Both other free papers contained a half-page ad of Tele2.)

In the ad the history of Tele2 was explained: founded in 1993 in Sweden by Jan Stenbeck who broke the telecom monopoly at that time.

Not mentioned, but important in this respect, is that Stenbeck also was the one who provided Metro Sweden with the funds to launch, and is in that way responsible for the birth of free newspapers. The Stenbeck family still controls the majority of the Metro International shares.

The Metro’s were partly handed out by extra distributors, dressed in Tele2 coats and hats, also in places were normally there is only rack distribution.

There seems to be a downside to this all as the number of un-distributed copies was substantial. Way after 9:00 o’clock this morning there still was full pallet of Metro’s – thousands of copies – waiting to be distributed in Amsterdam Central Station (not a very representative sample I admit, but not a good sign.)

It makes you wonder if the wrapped paper is that appealing to readers: it looks more like an ad than a paper. I talked with some editors in the past who were not particularly fond of wraps, it takes away attention from the front page as well.

Comments are closed.