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IT is important that firms looking to highlight products understand just what newspapers can deliver in advertising terms, NNI chairman Matt Dempsey said.

"The work on show tonight is a perfect example of what can be achieved through the press medium: ads that are intellectually engaging and aesthetically appealing; advertising with an intelligent smile," Mr Dempsey pointed out in his address to agency chiefs and creatives at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin.

"We provide the canvas for these ads and, as the latest JNRS shows, we also deliver the audience," he added. "Four out of five Irish adults are still regular newspaper readers, while two out of three of our readers spend more than three hours a week reading their newspapers. Those hours are generally put aside for reading. It's time in which a person is relaxed, receptive and immersed in their newspaper. In other words, perfect conditions for good advertising to have its effect."

Mr Dempsey added that the latest JNRS showed that newspapers' overall reach was extending, chiefly as a result of online and e-newspaper availability. "There's a simple reason for that -- content," he said. "When it comes to quality journalism, newspapers will always lead, and others will follow."

Irish Independent