Road Signs: November 2009

Nice if it is a harbinger of things to come – Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper has “revved up its auto section both online and print,” reports Kristin Laird in Marketing Magazine’s Media News. She quotes the paper’s advertising vice-president, Andrew Saunders, “You’ll be able to find passionate journalism that matches the person’s passion for driving–that’s going to be the key point of difference. Everyone drives, so we wanted to take a more lifestyle approach.” The paper’s weekly auto section is now titled “Globe Drive” and its online companion www.GlobeDrive.com has added more photos and video.

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Wooden Horse News reports: Aftermarket Business, the auto title from Advanstar Communications, will go online-only. The December issue will be its last. Starting in January, the title will publish a monthly digital version as well as twice-weekly e-newsletters. . . . A survey of 3,800 people in a cross-section of newspapers’ newsrooms revealed they are not the ones slowing the change from print to digital. As reported by Mediapost, a study from Northwestern University’s Media Management Center, found almost half of today’s journalists think their newsroom’s transition to digital is moving too slowly. Those most favoring the change are involved in internet use outside of work and those with knowledge of online users and their preferences. . . . However, in a speech by New York Times executive editor Bill Keller to the paper’s digital staff, he described prioritizing the web at the paper as ”our Manhattan Project,” according to Zachary Stewart writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab.

The Washington Post will merge its print and online operations January 1,2010 . . . Volkswagen is launching its newest GTI without using any traditional media. Only online will be used, with a free downloadable game featuring the car and a contest with six real cars being awarded.

“Social purpose is the new social status,” according to Mitch Markson, chief creative officer for Edelman Worldwide and creator of the company’s, “goodpurpose Consumer Study.” As reported by Aaron Baar in Marketing Daily, the study shows consumers are more inclined than ever to spend their money with companies and brands that have dedicated themselves to a social purpose. As many as 67 percent of the 6,000 persons surveyed in 10 countries said they would switch brands if another brand of similar quality sported a cause they were interested in and the same number said they would buy a hybrid car over a luxury car. Click here to get a PDF of the study (48 pages).

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