Newspaper National Network, the Newspaper Association of America offshoot that represents the 47 largest dailies, will start selling ads for both Amalgamated Publishers, a group representing 200 daily and weekly African-American papers, and Latino Print Network, which represents more than 100 Hispanic publishers.
"The root cause was advertiser requests," said Nick Callistrano, president-general manager of NNN. "Some advertisers said, 'Can you help us with ethnic publications?' "
Mr. Callistrano said NNN previously has helped marketers reach minorities on occasion, but decided on a more formal alliance because of increasing interest and a growing sense the combination would help newspapers compete against TV.
NNN sells to national advertisers that traditionally use TV for their car, computer, cosmetics, toiletries, drugs, food, household products, liquor and beverage brands.
"There is a growing realization among marketers that brand advertising may be seen on mainstream print, but that it resonates a little more if it appears in ethnic media," Mr. Callistrano said.
The alliance allows ad agencies with limited manpower to more easily buy minority publications, something shops "want to do but find daunting and costly," he said.
HOPING FOR MORE DOLLARS
"We hope it will translate into new dollars," said Ernie Pitts, chairman-CEO of Amalgamated Publishers. "We expect to see some dollars we would not see."
He noted that the new alliance already had brought some newspapers ads from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
"If we are only marginally successful at this, it would be very good for our industry" he said. "It's a win-win situation," said Zeke Montes, president of the National Association of Hispanic Publications, some of whose members are represented by Latino Print Network.
Mr. Callistrano said NNN will customize ad packages to advertiser's needs rather than offering standard packages. None of the executives would estimate the