All very interesting in the regional’s where Mediaforce (represents regional newspapers to advertising agencies and major advertisers (Mediaforce Titles) are making a play for the Republic Of Ireland titles of Johnston Press for a suggested €8.5m in cash.
The current Johnston portfolio is Dundalk Democrat, Leinster Leader, Leinster Express, Leitrim Observer, Longford Leader, Kilkenny People, Limerick Leader, The Nationalist and Munster Advertiser, Tipperary Star and The Echo. Mediaforce here represent over 50 regional titles in the Republic.
Their job would be essentially to be the voice of those titles to advertising agencies and large brands. The make it easier for a company/agency to ‘bulk buy’ ads in these regional publications. Mediaforce already represent the Johnston Press products here, so there should be no change there. However the company also represents all of IN&M regional brands and it would have to be seen if they will continue to do so if the Johnston Press papers are sold to them - would IN&M see a conflict of interest there or indeed the recently formed Celtic Media Group who they also represent?
A recent statement for Johnston Press suggested that their advertising contracted in the Republic of Ireland by 15% in 2012, so the market has to be particularly tough one at this moment in time.