Making it Stick with Front Cover Sticker Ads

For advertisers interested in reaching the Hispanic newspaper audience in a different way, front-cover sticker advertising may be for you. Mastercard and Sprint are already using this option to target Hispanics. For newspaper publishers looking to maximize ad-revenue without sacrificing a large portion of the hallowed cover, offering front cover sticker ads might be for you. And for the impressionable consumer looking to get a good deal with the morning news, well, you might just find it on the front cover of your favorite Hispanic newspaper.

That’s because an increasingly popular ad-delivery method to hit front covers is a modestly sized, four color sticker that can double as a coupon. It measures about 3.5 inches square and is easily removed for later use. Large publications charge a CPM of around $50, smaller publications around $70 CPM, which is considerably higher than a comparably-sized ad in the paper, but less expensive than a full front cover (see article on “Front Page Advertising” in page 41, Portada Nr. 22, September/October 2006).

The format is ideal as a call to action ad as it is compact, can accommodate scannable bar codes for coupon offers and is removable.

Brian McNeil, Regional Sales Manager for Kennedy Group, an Ohio-based company that specializes in front-cover sticker programs, says that the method is not particularly new, but that advertiser and publisher interest is: “Front-page label programs have been in place for 20 years or so,” say McNeil. “The difference is that they used to have to be applied manually by the distributor, and they were as likely to bee-line it for the dumpster as they were to affix the labels to the copies. Not surprisingly, this wasn’t the most attractive option to advertisers.”

McNeil says that in recent years the process has become mechanized, and much more efficient. The machines that are used to affix the stickers can process up to 80,000 pieces per hour, and cost $25,000-$40,000. Kennedy Group currently works with both The San Juan Star and El Nuevo Dia in Puerto Rico, with whom Mastercard recently ran a sticker campaign.

Washington Hispanic(55,000, Weekly, Spanish) recently ran its first sticker program with Sprint that offered a buy one, get one free deal on handsets. President Johnny Yataco commented that he would like to do more of this kind of advertising: “In my opinion it’s better than offering false front covers, because those really compromise the publication’s integrity. With these, you can just pull them off if you want to use it or if you don’t want to deal with it.”

Yataco adds that they charged the same rate as they charge for their inserts – $62.50- because it was their first try at it and because Sprint placed in five editions of the paper. “I think this type of advertisement is perfect for products that can make the offer succinct. For instance, it would also work well with an auto dealer advertising a special rate: ‘$200 a month for a Nissan Sentra. Call this number.’ That’s all you need,” says Yataco.

FSIs Vs. Front Cover Sticker Ads





Familiar; Drive Newspaper Sales

One must be reading paper to see it


Scalable: Can be as big as advertiser wants

Competes with other ads/editorial for readers attention


Can be inserted in editorially relevant section





Front Cover Sticker Ad

Highly visible: Can be seen by all at newsstand

Tariffs imposed by USPS


Different forms for different purposes

Takes up cover space


Comparable CPM rates to FSIs



Convenient for removing and keeping


Front-cover sticker campaigns do have costs associated with them: The U.S. post office charges 1.5 cents per piece that it mails, unless the stickered edition is part of a poly-bag, in which case they cannot levy this charge.

Another front cover ad-format is the Power-Ad booklet, which is an eight-panel fold-out booklet that is most often used for Sports team schedules. CPM’s rates run about $150.

Another popular front cover program is known as the Versa-card, which garner CPMs of $100-$120, depending on quantity. Essentially this is more or less a business card that is affixed with a non-residue adhesive, leaving the card clean and ready to be tucked into one’s wallet or jacket pocket. “Last year, Hoy NY (60,000, Daily, Spanish) did a program with McDonald’s where, in addition to buying an ultra-bright wrap, they affixed a buy four get one free offer on one of these cards,” says Adolfo Velasquez, Ad-Sales Director for Hoy.

Hoy ran a similar program in Chicago with U.S. Cellular using the versa cards. In this case, the cards offered 200 free minutes of call-time.

Comparing front-cover sticker options with FSIs, Velasquez comments: “In some ways, the front cover stickers are a better value because they are readily seen by people even if they are not reading the paper. If they are at the newsstand, they’ll see the ad right on the cover, whereas with an FSI, one has to be reading the paper to see it. Don’t get me wrong, FSIs have their advantages, too, as people buy copies simply to cut them out, but these sticker ads also offer a great value.”

While front cover sticker-ads can be highly effective for specific purposes, don’t expect to see them replacing the FSI any time soon – after all, there’s only so much space on a magazine’s cover. They really are a complement to FSI’s. Furthermore, as Hoy’s Adolfo Velasquez points out, some people are drawn to publications specifically to take advantage of the FSIs inside. Nonetheless, look for this form of advertising to become more commonplace in the Hispanic market this year and in years ahead.