The NewsPaper Dinosaur

The newspaper – once a dynasty and now a dinosaur.

I find it fascinating that despite the downward spiral of the mighty newspaper that they have seemingly learned nothing along the way. At least that was the impression I got talking to a lady in the newspaper office today.

The story goes a little like this: I plan to run a competition in the local area as part of my marketing promotions for local businesses. This promotion will have some nice prizes for the participants (total prize pool in the thousands of dollars), it will also supply the businesses several forms of marketing material for the competition, and it was scheduled to have a center page spread in a local community newspaper.

To me that all seemed pretty logical. I provide a significant amount of effort organizing and supply the necessary material and prizes in return for payment from each of the businesses.  As part of the deal I would also design the entry forms/advertising to go in the local paper and pay the paper to run it.


According to at least one lady from one of the local papers, what I am doing is “ad farming.”

“I am sorry … what do you mean?” I reply.

Well … she goes … you are making money from our services.

So here is a newspaper telling me I am not allowed to advertise in their paper if I am making money from their services? Yes it is true. They are worried that I might steal their customers by buying in bulk and on-selling at a cheaper rate.

First of all, that is not the main intent of what I am trying to achieve.  Second of all – SO WHAT?

No wonder newspapers all around the world are going broke if they are all so anal that someone might be making money from selling their ad space. Ad space, which I hasten to add, that they are incapable of selling themselves.

Seriously, that is the way business works. Someone manufactures something, they sell it to wholesalers who make a profit by selling it to distributors, who make a profit by selling to retailers, who make a profit by selling to consumers.  But not in the newspaper game. No sir.

In the newspaper world (land of the dinosaurs) the only person allowed to make a profit is the newspaper, which is why they are not obviously.

The lady I was talking to said she wouldn’t be allowed to profit from my services.  I said why not? As long as I am making my money why should I care who else is making money? Which of course was not something she was able to comprehend.

I just can not believe that businesses in this day and age are so backwards in their thinking.

Hopefully my negotiations with the local competition newspaper do not also hit such an obstinate road block.

I guess if they do then at least I have found a way I can enter the local newspaper trade and run the others out of business.

**Wandering off shaking head in disbelief … muttering not very polite things about the small minded stupidity of newspaper publishers**