FACT: Print is the medium that changed the world. And if proof were ever needed, this weekend has just shown us, in a HUGE and significant way, that it STILL defines us in today’s digital world.
On Sunday, Facebook (which claimed at the end of 2017 to have around 2.2 billion monthly active users), turned to the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal in the USA and to the prominent back pages of the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, Observer, Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express to apologise. Not apologise for destroying the daily newspaper market by using their content for free but apologise for their firm's role in the recent data privacy scandal.
Ouch. That has to hurt. What a spectacular about-turn.
Because Mark Zuckerberg and his army of digiteers didn’t choose his own medium to reach out to us effectively with this important, reputation-saving message. They chose print.
What was he thinking? He has all our names and addresses, doesn’t he? Does he have so little faith in his own digital platform for delivering truths or clear messages? Or is it that his baby fails to have the genuine and lasting effect of print advertising?
He tells us: "This was a breach of trust, and I am sorry" in the full-page apology featured in broadsheets and tabloids.
But, I wonder if that “trust” is not just about the data breach of 50 million users? Has he himself shone a light on the larger problem that digital doesn’t work as well as print?
So now comes the moment where we in the media and ad sales market need to step back to question and learn from this great agitator and ask: are these untargeted digital platforms so fragile and unable to reach their audience? Are your precious adverting pounds, euros and dollars just going down the toilet? Is the fraud real?
Let me be clear, I am a print man through and through – notwithstanding our excellent targeted digital adverting that ALWAYS gets into the hands of real people – and on Sunday I felt great pride in seeing the humbling of one of the great digital leaders, as it’s been waiting to happen for years. I mean, this is not the end of Facebook, but I do think that Mark Zuckerberg has just poked himself in the eye – his respect of the power of print advertising was plain for everyone to see.
Much of his message was, of course, aimed at steadying the stock market and talk to all the financial institutions – which tells you everything you need to know. The money still knows and TRUSTS print. And a huge hallelujah to that.
Quality journalism and luxurious print production values are still a compelling combination today – something we at Ink realised a long time ago.
Come talk to us about #DumpDigital and how we can put your brand onto the TRUSTED medium that reaches real people.
By Simon Leslie
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