USA Today Puts Itself Under Wraps With Ad

USA Today buyers who are looking for the news in Monday’s issue will have trouble finding it.
Amid a still-tough ad environment, the Gannett flagship will for the first time wrap its news section with an ad—one that will completely obscure the paper as shown through the window of outdoor racks.
The ad for Jeep’s 2011 Grand Cherokee is part of a $1 million-plus deal that will include a presence on USA Today’s iPad app and Web site.
Lee Jones, evp, advertising, USAT, said that in the past, concerns about editorial integrity, production and circulation deterred USAT from selling ads that wrapped the paper, but that market demand and quality of the ad allayed those worries.
“I think it’ll have minimal impact on single copy sales,” he said. “The look and feel will be very close to the way the paper looks.”
USAT, along with other newspapers that have been walloped by the recession, has been pushing new ad units lately. It wrapped its Life section with a Verizon ad July 1 and recently introduced new Page 1 ad units of varied shapes.