An ACNA committee looking to rebut the ‘cost per thousand’ (CPM) argument in Atlantic Canada is not having much luck.

The committee was formed at ACNA’s last board meeting in June at the association’s convention. Made up of sales reps from papers across the four Atlantic Provinces, it was charged with targeting specific advertisers and coming up with campaigns to target those advertisers. The committee was also charged with developing a rebuttal to the CPM argument.

CPM refers to the cost of reaching each thousand audience members. Media planners will often attempt to purchase the lowest CPMs with their buys.

ACNA Executive Director Kathy Hannigan said that Atlantic papers have been receiving the CPM argument from large agencies such as Aliant (representing four provincial telecommunications companies).

Those companies are saying that community newspapers in Atlantic Canada have a higher cost per thousand than their daily counterparts. Hannigan said the problem is that in some circumstances they are correct and in some they are not.

Hannigan said that the outlook is not bleak, but if trying to develop a CPM rebuttal does not work, the committee must then find arguments justifying the higher price of community papers. “I think the arguments are going to be fairly strong,” she said. “We are waiting on the ComBase data, which I know will help our industry. Readership affinity and issues like that will certainly make an impression.”