Australian newspapers bounce back

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SYDNEY -- Australia has become one of the world's strongest newspaper markets, according to an analysis of major English-speaking titles worldwide made by local media buying company Total Advertising & Communications.

Overall, Australia's major newspapers are outperforming those in the U.K. and U.S., with broadsheets and the financial press driving the growth. The analysis, which compared circulation figures for 57 titles over the past three year, shows Australian newspapers grew 2.7% since 1994 while major newspapers in the U.S. dropped 5.2% and in the U.K. 1.9%.

Backing the analysis, advertising expenditure for local newspapers increased 9.7% to about $490 million a year in the same period, according to the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia.

Barry O'Brien, a director of Total Advertising, says the figures showed how aggressive the Australian market had become, with publishers investing heavily in marketing campaigns and product improvement to drive sales.

"Only a few years ago, Australian newspapers were in a similar situation to those suffering from falling circulation in the United States and Britain," he says. "Australian publishers seem to have reacted and improved their fortunes far better than their colleagues in other markets."

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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