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Government partners with newspaper industry on Covid-19 ad campaign

The government and the newspaper industry have formed a three-month advertising partnership to help keep the public safe and the nation united throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government partners with newspaper industry on Covid-19 ad campaign
Tracy De Groose: “This is an amazing first for the newspaper industry.”

As reported on Friday by Mariella Brown on the Society of Editors website:

The “All in, all together” campaign idea was developed by the newspaper industry and supported by the Society of Editors as a way of delivering government communications in an intimate, human and compassionate tone that readers can relate to.

Today (Fri 17 April) all regional and national daily news brands will run the copy “Stay at home for the NHS, your family, your neighbours, your nation the world and life itself” as a cover wrap and online homepage takeover. Weekly titles will run the wrap next week.

On the back cover the ad doubles up as a poster and features the rainbow, which has been adopted as the symbol of support for key workers throughout the crisis, along with the copy: “Staying at home for Britain”.

Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, said the partnership was vital in both keeping the public informed during the Covid-19 crisis and in underscoring the essential role being played by newspapers during this time.

“The public have turned to trusted news brands in the newspaper industry in ever greater numbers during this emergency and this partnership with the government ensures vital information reaches communities.”

This initial burst of activity is part of a three-month advertising partnership between the government and the newspaper industry, which includes a branded content element to further amplify public information, campaigns and messaging in a style and tone more familiar to readers.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove said: “Newspapers are the lifeblood of our communities and we need them now more than ever. Their role as a trusted voice and their ability to reach isolated communities is especially vital at this time. With this campaign we are both saving lives by providing essential information to the public, and supporting cherished local institutions.”

Tracy De Groose, executive chair Newsworks, who led the industry’s unified response to the government’s brief, said: “We are working with the government throughout this crisis to deliver their important advertising messages in a way that will resonate with readers. This is an amazing first for the newspaper industry and a clear demonstration of how we can bring it altogether for a brand campaign of this scale.

“As we all know the trusted flow of information is more important now than ever before and this partnership is a powerful endorsement of the strong relationship we have with our growing audiences across our local, regional and national news brands.

“Of course, our journalists will continue to scrutinise the actions of the government at every turn of this pandemic and they will continue to play their part in defeating this terrible virus.”

According to latest PAMCo audience numbers the UK news brand sector now reaches 49 million people a month, 47 million a week and 34 million people a day, with an extra 3.2 million people a day reading quality, trusted news compared to a year ago.