KPMG’s head of media David Elms has heralded WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell’s comments about the effectiveness of printed newspapers as a highly engaging advertising medium as a significant change.

Speaking at a Westminster Media Forum event on local media this week, KPMG partner and UK head of media David Elms reminded the audience of Sir Martin’s comments about newspapers being more effective than many people give them credit for and went on to talk about “a new confidence emerging” in the local press industry.

He said: “We’ve seen commentators predict the demise of local media and now we’re seeing the stabilisation and rebalancing. We are beginning to see a new confidence emerging as companies are successfully adapting to changing conditions.”

“UK regional newspaper revenues have been in decline for a number of years but there is evidence that we may be approaching an inflection point. The overall rates of revenue decline have decelerated and operating profits have even started to grow.

“Last month Sir Martin Sorrell acknowledged that newspapers and magazines, even in their traditional form, are more effective than many people give them credit for. He said that research had found that traditional media can be more engaging and readers are likely to better retain information in print magazines and newspapers than online and mobile content. Now there’s a change.”

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