Reader offers win-win proposal for ads covering the front page
9 months ago, 8 Mar 19:15
Readers reacted strongly to last Friday’s discussion on wrap-around advertisements. It did not help matters that that day’s Daily Nation was half-covered by a wrap. While appreciating the importance of advertising, they said wraps irritate them. Uncompromising readers included Mungai Kihanya, who writes the The World of Figures column in the Sunday Nation. “I hate these wraps with a passion! They’re such a nuisance. They add no value, not to the paper, not to the products they advertise,” he said. “The wraps subtract value from the newspaper and the product they are advertising because of their annoyance. “They also contribute to degrading the environment. A tree is cut down to produce a piece of paper that no one reads and then that piece of paper is thrown away within five minutes of being bought.” IRRITANT The discussion helped the Friday front-page wrap advertiser, Huawei. Githuku Mungai, who normally yanks off the wraps without reading them, said upon reading the discussion he decided to retrieve the wrap and read it. Hopefully, the extra traffic generated sales for the advertised “P smart” phone. Although he also rips off the wraps, Benjamin Kibias saves them unless “they jail-break”, he says. He inserts them inside the paper. Mama Champagne rips them off without a thought. So do Dorothy Odhiambo and Simon Munyua. “They make handling the newspaper cumbersome,” Munyua says. NEWS William Kamau, an engineer, says his vendor has clear instructions: “Either remove and throw them away before he sells me the paper, or give me an alternative newspaper. It’s that simple.” David Kipkorir also says his vendor rips off the wrap. He says: “To me, the wraps have subverted the paper’s news judgment and have appeared to mislead readers into believing the advertiser’s message is the paper’s editorial posture.” Carlos Kamau, who likes to read the front page and then flip to the back page, says the wrap, and the stapling, inconveniences him. “I wish the advertisers would know, like today’s wrap (Friday, March 2), I ripped it off without bothering to know what it was!” ADVERTISERS However, Festus Mbuimwe has a win-win proposition: That advertisers who “grab” the front page with their flaps should humour the reader. “For example, Huawei, who published last Friday’s wrap, could have offered readers a scannable code that would have entitled them to free coffee, or a free umbrella in Nairobi (because of the rains) or free ice cream or water for Mombasa-based readers (because of the humidity),” Mbuimwe says. He also suggests that Nation Media Group print two Nation editions — one with wraps and another without them. And editions carrying wraps should cost Sh50, not Sh60, “because the brands have already paid for the privilege”. LEISURE Readers may not mind wraps from certain brands and NMG should find out which ones, he adds. “This information will inform brand owners where they stand in customers’ minds.” He proposes that flaps be used only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, when readers are relaxed because there is ...
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