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Regional press shows good growth in online recruitment

LONDON - Regional press saw the fastest growth in UK online recruitment advertising expenditure last year, up 48.2% to £24m, according to figures released by the Advertising Association.

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Online specialists saw growth of 41.5% while national newspapers attracted 22.9% more online recruitment advertising. The figures highlight the dramatic growth of the online classified market and how regional press, the UK's largest press advertising medium, is taking a major slice of it.

Regional press now accounts for 30% of the UK online recruitment market and this currently excludes revenues from Fish4jobs, the regional press-owned jobsite. This is up from 28% of the market in 2002.

National press accounts for 5% of the online recruitment market while online specialists account for 65%.

Kevin Beatty, chairman of the Newspaper Society's marketing committee and managing director of Northcliffe Regional Newspapers, said: "This performance demonstrates that regional newspapers are getting smarter at offering advertisers a range of platforms with which to target audiences -- both print and online."

Beatty said the figures were confirmation of what advertisers have long known about the power of the regional press.

"Advertisers have long known that regional newspapers offer the most effective method of filling job vacancies. Attracted by the growing local audiences, which the regional press can deliver, they are increasingly choosing to use our local websites alongside the more traditional in-paper ads," he said.

In overall terms regional press advertising expenditure grew by 3.2% in 2003 to £2.99bn outperforming total UK adspend, which grew by 2.5%. Directories were the only other press sector to see growth in 2003.

The growth in online recruitment for regional press comes on the back of sustained growth in regional press adspend every year for the past decade. Unlike national press the regional market continued to perform well even in the midst of a media recession.

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