Looks like Rupert Murdoch has made a small step forward in his effort to bring The Wall Street Journal into an all-out brawl with The New York Times. AdAge reports that the Journal‘s forthcoming New York metro section has secured advertising deals from Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman.
According to AdAge, the Bloomingdale’s news is of particular interest, too, because the retailer currently spends much more on Times ads than it does on the Journal. Bergdorf would also be a major plum, because it doesn’t currently spend any money at the Journal.
Plus, with advertising budgets hit hard by the recession, the duel for placements in newspapers is pretty much a zero-sum game; if the Journal makes headway, the Times will probably suffer.
AdAge goes on to give significant play to the idea that the Times commands a uniquely loyal and engaged readership that the Journal can’t match, adding that Murdoch’s fearsome public image may turn off potential advertisers.
The actual incentive for businesses to choose one paper over the other will become clearer when the Journal‘s metro section actually launches. In the meantime, one has to wonder if the Journal, with the weight of Murdoch and the behemoth News Corp. behind it, may be able to negotiate some attractive prices for advertisers. After all, Murdoch has shown himself willing to accept losses at his newspapers to further his long-term personal ambitions.