Could Daily Mail change ad model?
The news that A&N Media, publisher of the Daily Mail, has undertaken a six-review of its operations by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on the face of it will surprise few in the industry.
Executives at national newspapers (and TV companies for that matter) have become well-acquainted with sleek BCG executive these past few years.
BCG are those faceless individuals who strip out costs out of businesses while bestowing the benefit to the media company that its operations have been objectively assessed and not internally filleted by its ruthless chief executive.
Those who know far more about the workings of media companies –and for that matter, BCG – tell me for all BCG’s virtues at scything out costs, the relationship between BCG and the media company in question can at times be unilateral.
One rival newspaper executive told me, in the case of A&N Media, it would not be a stretch that its chief executive Kevin Beatty would say to BCG something along the lines of “right, you have three options. Pick one and then if I agree I will greenlight it.”
So what will be upshot of the review? Major changes? Senior heads rolling? Doubtful.
More likely the changes will be subtle, such as changes to reporting lines, back-office functions, operational stuff.
More interesting, would be possible commercial changes introduced.
In short, how could the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday change, in an effort to offset an ad market which has long been rocky and recently hit by retailers pulling back ad spend?
One option could be for the Daily Mail to move away from its traditional trading model of fixed price ads and take a leaf out of its sister title Metro, with its more flexible, sleeves-rolled-down “let’s see if we can do a deal” approach.
Advertising, under the stewardship of Grant Woodthorpe, in Metro is said to be flying this year.
And, in these markets, nothing is sacrosanct, so the Mail’s long-standing trading policy could go and be replaced by something less conservative.
Remember, it was only a few years ago, those naysayers were saying the group would never merge the sales teams of The Mail and The Mail on Sunday. And look what happened there.