What the papers say: GCap ad strategy seen as ‘suicide’

GCap’s strategy to slash advertising and play more music to tempt back listeners to the ailing Capital FM may be viewed historically as ‘doing a Ratner’.

Acknowledging an 'extremely disappointing set of results' (The Daily Telegraph, 25 November) as well as falling audience figures and a halved interim dividend, GCap CEO Ralph Bernard attempted to put a gloss on his 'high risk' strategy (The Times, 25 November).

He pointed out that similar action had improved audiences at Classic FM, and that any loss of revenue should be regarded as a long-term
investment.

A few of the subsequent headlines were hopeful: 'Capital Radio halves ad breaks to woo listeners' (The Guardian, 24 November), but most highlighted the subsequent share price decline: 'Radio group's advertising revamp wipes £100m off stock value' (The Herald, 25 November).

By the weekend, talk was of a takeover: 'Bidders circle after GCap's "commercial suicide"' (The Observer, 27 November).

Gerald Ratner demonstrated a few years ago that self-flagellation as a PR tactic can backfire. Only time will tell for GCap.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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