Atlanta Paper Tries To Get Readers To Cut Back Digital HabitBy Hiring Online Ad Agency

This story was written by David Kaplan.
At a time when newspapers are trying to figure out how to make better use of digital distribution, Cox Enterprises' Atlanta Journal Constitution hopes to convinces readers to take a break from their computers and mobile phones, Adweek reports. And irony of ironies, the paper, which recently cut 30 percent of its staff, has unveiled a year-long, $1 million ad campaign crafted by local independent digital shop IQ Interactive to position the physical Sunday paper as a refuge from the frenzied "digital cacophony" that's associated with readers' work weeks.

To be sure, Amy Chown, AJC's vp of marketing, tells Adweek's Brian Morrissey that the campaign isn't meant to get readers to switch off their laptops and cell phones and return to a simpler, bygone era. It's just meant to boost the Sunday edition. Which isn't a bad idea, considering that digital still makes up a small portion of revenues. And ad-heavy Sunday papers will still be needed to support papers like the AJC until they can make it digitally. In any case, AJC parent Cox has been pinning its hopes on its digital future with ad network provider Adify, which it bought last year for $300 million. As for the AJC, it needs all the help it can get: weekday and Saturday print circ has fallen about 20 percent, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations; Sunday circ only fell 7 percent.

Photo credit: Echo Media

By David Kaplan