Commercial creativity at De Pers

Last week, at a conference in Utrecht organized by the School of Journalism, Ben Rogmans, the publisher of Dutch free daily De Pers talked about the many ways in which De Pers combines commercial efforts with journalism (see also previous post). A ‘to-do’ list for commercial journalists, although some audience members found some efforts not acceptable:

  • Editorial barters: branding a page with a name of a commercial party (advertiser) and using input from that party. De Pers does that with a business page (IEX) and a travel page (Columbus travel agency).
  • Market barters: giving editorial attention in exchange for sponsoring possibilities. De Pers covered the Dutch championship cycling in exchange of free billboards at the event.
  • Webshop: the editors select books from a publisher/advertiser and devote (positive) attention to these books that are sold via the website of De Pers. There are also extra ads from this advertiser.
  • Specials about certain topics (work, travel) that attract advertisers.
  • Sponsored items: at the Olympics a Dutch rowing team was covered extensively, coverage paid for by their sponsors.
  • Advertorials: ads that look like editorial content, although with the use of a different font so it must be clear to the readers that it’s not an editorial.
  • Buying editorial space: done by a 9292 – a public transport information organization, a mortgage company and by a publisher of dictionary (Van Dale).
  • Requested attention: the national railways provided material from Beijing at the Olympics that was sponsored, an special about the gay ‘coming out’ day was sponsored/requested.
  • Travel: sports journalists cover special European football stadiums, readers can book a trip to those places with a famous footballer.

De Pers can be read online – many of the examples can be seen in the paper.

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