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Wall Street Journal backs new look with global advertising campaign

LONDON - The Wall Street Journal this afternoon revealed its much-anticipated new look, which sees the introduction of colour for the first time since the paper debuted its six-column black-and-white design in 1942.

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The overhaul has taken a year to design and has been part of a four-year, $225m (£157m) plan to upgrade the Journal's printing facilities, allowing the paper to print colour pictures and graphics for the first time in its 113-year history.

As well as colour, the new-look Journal uses more graphics and contains an index to articles inside the paper to help readers find what they're looking for more easily.

The redesign is being supported by a multimillion-dollar global advertising campaign across print, media, TV and airport billboards in major cities around the world.

The newspaper comes with increased pagination, rising from 80 to 96 pages, with the option of printing as many as 24 of those pages in colour.

The redesign also sees the introduction of a raft of new columns and features. Personal Journal is one of the title's most radical changes. The section, which appears on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, will include stories on lifestyle issues such as health, family and cars.

Other new columns include Deja Vu, a monthly column looking at how past business trends reoccur in modern times; Ahead of the Tape is a new daily column forecasting what events might affect the market; and Cubical Culture takes a quirky look at office life.

In a letter to readers on the front page of the paper, publisher Peter Kann writes: "For people who've always found The Wall Street Journal a bit forbidding, who considered its look authoritative but perhaps also a bit authoritarian, I hope we've made the publication somewhat more approachable, more appealing."

The advertising campaign is based on a world map with the Wall Street Journal's global reach mapped out on it. It highlights the location of the viewer and shows the front page images of the US, European and Asian editions of the Journal with the tagline, "Leader in Global Business News".

The ads will appear on large posters at London Heathrow, Hong Kong, Tokyo's Narita and New York's John F Kennedy airports and in various European and Asian editions of Forbes, Time, Fortune, Business Week and European Voice, as well as the Far Eastern Economic Review.

Television ads will run in Europe and Asia on CNBC Europe/CNBC Asia Pacific, CNBC Sports, Bloomberg, CNN and BBC World.

The campaign was developed for Europe and Asia by Baltimore-based advertising agency, Trahan, Burden and Charles.

Paul Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, said: "Today's Wall Street Journal is the culmination of years of planning and preparation by hundreds of people. I have no doubt that today's Journal will be even more informative and valuable to our current readers, while reaching an even broader audience of people who are interested in both business news and news that affects their daily lives -- business and the business of life."

The changes largely affect the US edition of the Wall Street Journal, while there will be modest changes to the European and Asia editions, which already feature colour. The European edition will also get the Personal Journal.

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