New York Times takes out TV ad

NEW YORK • The New York Times will air its first TV advertisement in seven years on Sunday's broadcast of the Academy Awards on ABC, as the 166-year-old newspaper looks to highlight independent journalism amid United States President Donald Trump's attacks on the media over "fake news".

The Oscars is traditionally the most-watched non-sports event broadcast in the US and advertisements on the show are among the pricier buys on TV, with 30-second commercials going for between US$1.9 million (S$2.67 million) and US$2 million, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media.

Since Mr Trump's election victory, The New York Times has seen an uptick in digital subscribers and revenue, even as its business on the print side declines.

During its most recent quarter, the paper added 276,000 digital subscribers and grew digital advertising revenue by nearly 11 per cent.

The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Gannett Co gained online readership during the 2016 presidential election by marketing unbiased reporting.

Mr Trump has repeatedly bashed the press. In a tweet last week citing The New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN, he said the media was "the enemy of the American People!".

The New York Times commercial is part of a broader brand campaign, the paper's first in a decade, that aims to position the newspaper as a reliable outlet in the face of the rise of the "fake news" epidemic.

Its 30-second commercial repeats the words "The Truth Is...", with voices in the background getting louder, with different endings, including "our nation is more divided than ever" and "alternative facts are lies."

The ad ends with: "The Truth is more important now than ever."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2017, with the headline 'New York Times takes out TV ad'. Print Edition | Subscribe