Readership Research For Local Free-Sheets

Michael Wirkner
Bundesverband Deutscher Anzeigenbltter e.V., Germany

FREE-SHEETS - A MATTER OF PREJUDICES

The advertising media competition in Germany is characterised by a controversy between public and private broadcasting stations. The former state that they produce "quality tv" the latter are seen by the masses. There is a similar controversy in the local markets between regional newspapers and local free-sheets. The former produce high quality papers with international, national and regional news whereas the latter are also read by the masses. In a country like Germany, lets call it a "premium country", everything is or pretends to be premium, and marketing-managers feel much better if they work for a premium product. A cost-free local information medium is above all a matter of prejudice.

"What does not cost anything is not worth anything. If free-sheets are read they are read by lower class women. If they are read they are read briefly." Of course these prejudices are welcomed by the competitors of free-sheets, and they do not hesitate to use them as sales arguments in favour of their own media. Astonishingly the facts are different. Reality has developed into the opposite direction.

A SHORT VIEW ON LOCAL FREE-SHEETS IN GERMANY