Printing houses, including newspaper publishers, are running short of paper supplies as a result of UPM’s paperworkers’ strike, which began four months ago, and the war in Ukraine in Russia.
If UPM’s strike is not resolved soon and alternative supplies are not available on the international market, Finnish consumers will see far fewer advertisements in their mailboxes and their morning papers will thin out.
On the other hand, this may mean less "spam," more targeted advertising and the further shift of advertisers away from print and digital networks.
By Riikka-Maria LemminkiThe CEO of Marketing Finland, company calendars, printed brochures and own magazines will be the first to be held.
"The general perception is that there will be enough paper in stock until May," says Lemminki.
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So far, printers have not made formal decisions to prioritize editions or reduce advertising.
However, e.g. Janne Koski, Kalevamedia’s head of printing and distribution says that if the strike at UPM’s mills continues, his company will have to think more carefully in the early summer about what to do about the shortage.
"Of course, all our customers are equally important. Our own group ads will fall out first, after which we will start thinking about other measures," The rapids explain.
Mikko LuomaThe CEO of Hilla Group, which focuses on publishing and marketing, sees a need for prioritization in the future, but not yet. However, he says newspapers are the last to suffer. Before this happens, advertising will be cut down.
The first to be affected by paper shortages are smaller printers and independent local media. This is because suppliers focus on sales to large bulk buyers.
"Among our members are several companies where direct marketing is an important part of the overall business and volumes are high. This means that the impact will be large and will require reconsideration of new ways of advertising. It is now clear that interest in large-scale direct marketing campaigns is declining somewhat," says Riikka-Maria Lemminki of Marketing Finland.
According to Lemmink, it seems that the shortage of paper may ease by the beginning of June, but it is not certain.
"There is a risk that the situation will continue, with detrimental effects on advertisers, the media, printers, advertising agencies and postal services," he adds.
UPM usually supplies 80 percent of the country’s printing paper needs, with the rest coming from Russia and Norway. At the start of the strike at UPM’s mills, more paper was purchased from Russia. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, more paper supplies have been sourced from UPM’s German mills, but now at a price 30 to 40 percent higher.
Both Kalevamedia and the Hilla Group are actively monitoring the inventory situation.
"Roughly speaking, we can handle existing stocks for about a month," says Mikko Luoma from Hilla Group.
According to Kalevamedia’s Janne Koski, the concern is the end of newsprint nationwide in Finland. Kalevamedia prints hundreds of thousands of mass ads every week, a significant source of revenue for the company that has yet to be cut. At the moment, it looks like it will also be able to continue printing newspapers at least until the summer.
Source: The Nordic Page