Advertising in the National press, worth it?

No basically! This is probably not true for all situations but for me it was.

Back in November I received an email from the Mirror newspaper about advertising one of my sites in an 8 page Christmas Gift Guide (gifts for him section) they were going to be running, this supplement was to go in the Mirror newspaper on 25th November and then online for 3 weeks from 29th November, the online part was the bit that excited me most, I wasn’t expecting to get much traffic from the published article but from past experience of having a site featured on the Mirror website and the traffic it generated I did think it would be worthwhile.

So, the 25th November came, I popped to the shop to get my copy of the Mirror to see my site featured in all it’s glory except there was no Christmas Gift Guide in it, I fired off an email to my contact asking where it was, I got a reply the next day telling me it was in on the 26th instead, I’d found this out by buying the paper anyway, the Ad looked great, I did get a little bit of traffic from this but nothing to write home about at all, which was fine as it was still the online part I was most interested in.

On the Mirror home page there is a 145×145 image that says “Gift Guide – Check out our Christmas present ideas” this is where, naively, I expected the Christmas guide to appear online, Monday 29th November came and excitedly I go to their website to see what it looks like and click ‘that’ gift link and there’s nothing new on that page, especially nothing to do with the 8 page guide that appeared in the paper.

I left it a couple of days expecting it to appear before emailing asking why it wasn’t on the site, I was then sent a link to it, it was tucked deep within the site where no one would ever find it because the link was ‘advice/christmas/gift-guide/for-him/’ so you’d expect to see a link to it from ‘advice/christmas/gift-guide/’, but no there was no such link to it on that page or anywhere else at all, I pointed this out and then some links were added to that page, I asked a few people to see if they could find the page and no-one could, you’d have to actually be given the link to even see the page. I was told the value was in the online part as the money goes towards running the print guide, I felt it was a waste of time being online as there was no chance of anyone just stumbling across it.

By this time I’d pretty much passed caring and put it down to experience and naively expecting a Christmas gift guide to be linked to from the homepage, I received an email saying they were running a small ad box in the newspaper every day to make people aware of the gift guide, then another email saying they were running a big 300×300 ad box on the homepage pointing to the gift guide, great that’s something I thought, except that ad box online only lasted about 8 hours!

So all in all a complete waste of time, I’m sure I’m not the only one from that guide who feels that way, I could’ve wasted that money on an IPad instead, the Mirror website is just a mass of adverts these days, one to avoid.


  1. I agree national press is not great for a lot of retailers all year. But as a Gift retailer ourselves we found that last christmas we were added to a list of other retailer showing what we thought would be the Gift of the year. From that advertisement our sales did go up for that product but it probably went up for all retailers selling that same product.

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