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29 . 10 . 20

Striking new campaigns for regional press and booksellers

Words by: Print Power
The French Regional Daily Press group and the American Booksellers Association launched campaigns promoting regional news and the value of real people. Proximity and people over algorithms characterise both campaigns.

The French group of regional newspapers (PQR) consists of 64 titles with over 32 mio readers of the print editions. The regional press’ strong point is obviously related to the value of proximity. Research shows that readers value the useful information the regional titles provide. They are providing service, support and are often the link between the public authorities and citizens. They are sometimes seen as the spokespersons for the inhabitants. This strong role has been translated into an increase in subscriptions this year and also in a strong demand from advertisers.

The commercial developed by the Paris-based agency Havas features the regional newspaper as a source of inspiration and the trigger to keep everyone engaged.

On Amazon Prime Day, the day of special offers for Amazon Prime members, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) launched a campaign promoting local bookshops. The pandemic causes major problems for the independent booksellers. The last couple of years has seen a steady increase of the number of members of the ABA, but 2020 looks like 20 percent of the members might get out of business. This is a sharp contrast to the book market which is surprisingly solid this year. It is estimated that Amazon accounts for about 50 percent of all print book sales and 80% of the e-book sales.

It’s clear to see convenience has a cost and a consequence. Says Allison K. Hill, CEO of ABA: “Closed indie bookstores represent the loss of local jobs and local tax dollars; the loss of community centers; and the loss of opportunities for readers to discover books and connect with other readers in a meaningful face-to-face way.”

French sociologist Vincent Chabault describes in his recent book Eloge du magasin – Contre l’amazonisation, this extended role of shops. Underlining the function of (local) shops in the local fabric.


The importance of the local economy was shown in a 2019 Prime Numbers study: approximately 28 percent of all revenue of indie bookstores immediately recirculate in the local economy. This translates into a massive local impact advantage over Amazon (which recirculates only 4 percent locally).

The typical Amazon brown boxes are “boxing out” bookstores and other small businesses all across the country, resulting in the loss of local jobs, local sales tax, community, and support.

The Boxed-out campaign for which a number of bookstores in the USA have windows boarded up and boxes piled up out front that resemble Amazon delivery containers, with one label reading “Don’t Accept Amazon’s Brave New World.” The beginning of what the booksellers association hopes will be a conversation in stores and online.