Live from ECMOD: Prospecting the U.K. Way

By Oct 26, 2006

(Multichannel Merchant) Although it was moderated by an American, one of the two opening sessions at the European Catalogue and Mail Order Days conference in London offered a primer of sorts to multichannel marketing in the U.K.

“National press and television are still the best way to become famous and build a business quickly,” said David Attinger, founder of Attinger Jack Advertising, during the session run by Jack Schmid, chairman of J. Schmid and Associates.

He added that the country’s more than a half-dozen national newspapers have traditionally been a prospecting medium for catalogers, which will insert not only solo pieces but full-scale catalogs into papers, in large part to circumvent privacy and list usage rules, which are more stringent here than in the States.

The circulation of national dailies has gone down by 1.2 million readers during the past three years, Attinger admitted, and by 4 million readers during the past 10 years. But a few newspapers — among them the Daily Mail and The Times, have enjoyed circulation increases.

What’s more, papers have introduced a number of supplements during the past few years, which provide more opportunities to reach more-targeted prospects. And because newspapers in the U.K., like their stateside counterparts, are feeling the economic pinch, Attinger said, they are often willing to negotiate terms when wooing new catalog advertisers.

As for TV, the amount of time Brits spend viewing it has increased during the past few years, Attinger continued. And as in the U.S., the explosion of cable and digital networks means there are “hundreds of niche channels, which are really good for picking off a select market.”

Attinger estimated that a marketer could effectively test a 60-second spot on a cable/digital channel for a month for as little as