Monthly Archives: April 2016

Mobile Help Now & Inogen Portable Oxygen Ads

MediaBids is pleased to offer new pay-per-call and CPL ads from two new advertisers. These ads can be run in print editions of newspapers and magazines – custom sizing is available. Publications get paid every time a reader makes a qualifying response to the ad.

New clients include:

Mobile Help Now – MobileHelp is a medical alert system that travels with folks, alerting help wherever it is needed. Request an Ad Now

Inogen Portable Oxygen  – Inogen offers a handy, portable oxygen tank that might be covered by Medicare. Request an Ad Now




Does Your Paper Reflect the Spending Habits of the American Consumer?

ConsumersIn the U.S., nearly 70% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is based on consumption. In fact, Americans spend a little over $11.2 trillion on goods and services.

The breakdown is about 65% on ”services,” such as housing, health care, travel, education, entertainment and personal care. The remaining 35% is spent on ”goods.” Economists tend to split the goods category into two types: 22% of spending on goods is non-durables (every day items such as clothing, groceries, fuel and household items); the other 13% of spending on goods is toward larger and less frequent purchases like cars, trucks, tractors, furniture and appliances.

Of course -depending on age, life-stage, income and a host of other factors- each of us may have somewhat different ratios of services to goods. Nevertheless, the ”average American consumer” spends about 65% on services and 35% on non-durable and durable goods each year.

The question you might want to be asking is -how well do the ads in your pages reflect what Americans are buying?

Over the past month, the Print Observer has profiled four local dailies (one in Vermont, Indiana, Washington State and Texas.) For each paper, we tabulated and analyzed the ad space in a recent Sunday edition. The analytics included: the number of ads overall and in each ad category; the total ad inches, total inches for each ad category and the average size of the ads in each category relative to the average size of all the ads in the section.

Pie chart

Looking back at the data, it’s interesting to note how well the advertising categories represented in the papers compare to consumer spending habits. Across the four dailies we reviewed, the average number of ads in the services category was 48%, the average in the non-durables category was 30% and the average in the durables category was 28%.

  • The services category (housing, health care, restaurants etc.) had a range of 68% to a low of 28%.
  • In non-durables (groceries, clothes, household items etc.) the high was 49% and the low was 4%.
  • In the durables category (autos, furniture, appliances etc.) the high was 28% and two papers had no advertising at all for durables.
  • Two papers also had a large number of house ads and/or political.

We only looked at four Sunday papers so this small sample is not necessarily indicative of the trends in newspapers across the country. However, the four papers were all mid-size dailies in small cities that are not unlike most other small cities in America so the averages across the basic categories are likely to be proximate.

Ultimately, considering where your readers spend the bulk of their dollars (65% services/35% goods) is as good a guide as any for targeting the kinds of advertisers that are likely to do well in your pages. If you’re at 60% or better for services and 30%-40% for goods, you at least know your publication is aligned well with general consumer spending habits and you’re at about the level of advertising, in each category, readers can tolerate.

Post by Jim Jinks


Print Ads Work! See For Yourself…

see   Here at MediaBids, we see people responding to newspaper and magazine ads all day, every day. We’d like to give you a glimpse of some of the types of calls print ads are driving right now. That’s why we launched . It streams call information from ad campaigns we’re running for clients all across the country in newspapers & magazines.

People who respond to print advertisements are seriously valuable customers.
On average 36% of responses to a print ad result in a sale!

Take a look at the latest calls at

Newspapers & April Fools’ Day: A Match Made in Prankster Heaven

Newspapers are generally perceived to be the ”most trusted” and ”authoritative” media. It’s probably for this reason, newspapers have a history of not being able to resist pranking their readers on April Fools’ Day. Here’s a few that are considered to be legendary AFD pranks:

Wiscons state capital 2.0In 1933 the Madison Capital-Times ran this image on the front page of their April 1st issue. The headline, as you can see, was ”Dome Topples Off Statehouse” and the subhead of the article was… ”Officials Say Legislature Generated Too Much Hot Air.” Despite that at the bottom of the article, the paper made it clear this was an April Fools’ joke, many readers wrote to the paper to express their displeasure over the hoax. Apparently, in 1985, the Science Digest put this one on their list of one of the world’s best hoaxes.

Next up…on March 31st, 1864, the Evening Star of Islington announced there would be a ”grand exhibition of donkeys” to be held the next day at the Agricultural Hall.donkeys 2.0

As the story goes, a large crowd gathered outside the Hall the next morning. Apparently it took a while for the crowd to realize they were the ”donkeys.”





These hoax stories are not ALL from long ago. In 1980, the Old Lyme Gazette, a small weekly paper in Connecticut, pulled a famous hoax on the New London Day, a much larger daily paper nearby. In addition to the small weekly buying the larger daily, the Old Lyme paper announced that it was planning to expand the Day’s reporting staff by ”cutting it in half -literally, at the waist; this would create twice as many reporters although, of course, they would be half their former stature.” Again, the article prominently declared ”April Fools!” but apparently the ”phones rang off the hook for weeks” at both papers. Also, the fictitious purchase was even later reported in a New England printing industry trade journal. Well played Old Lyme Gazette, well played.

Taxes for Health Club

Our last stop in this tour of historic hoaxes, comes from the Kokomo Tribune in 1965. The paper reported that city officials had decided to institute a new tax to raise money for a swanky new ”public officials only” health club. One town official was quoted in the article saying that ”public officials are hard working people and they deserve a convenient place for recreation.” The official went on to say that he felt people would accept the new tax once they realized it was for ”a good thing.” Objectively speaking, that’s pretty darn funny.

Happy April 1st 2016. Long live newspapers’ penchant for the April Fools joke!

Post by Jim Jinks