What are Run of Paper (ROP) Ads?

Your Retail Store Can Benefit from ROP Ads in the Local Newspaper

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Run of paper (or ROP) is a common phrase used in newspaper advertising sales. It means that your business' ad can be placed anywhere in the paper and it is a good choice for reducing the cost of your local advertising.

What is an ROP Ad?

Newspaper advertising is a popular option for small retail businesses because it targets your local market and can bring in new customers. It is, however, filled with a number of complicated terms, conditions and options.

ROP is one of the most common terms that you will run across. Run of paper (or run of press) is popular because it is among the lowest rates in newspaper advertising. Most ad rate cards focus on ROP pricing.

Tip: TV advertising uses a similar option called run of schedule or run of station.

An ROP ad allows the editor or publisher to place ads where they fit the best in that edition of the paper. Advertisers are given options for the size of their ad and as they layout the paper, editors use their discretion on which ads to place where.

ROP ads can appear in any section of the newspaper, except the classifieds.

What are the Advantages of ROP Ads?

Newspaper advertising is not cheap, but ROP ads can get you a better deal and this is their primary advantage.

Requesting that your ad run in a specific section will cost you a premium price - sometimes up to 25% more - and there is no guarantee that it will even run there.

Most papers will not charge you a placement fee if it cannot meet your request.

  • ROP ads can also be ordered, designed and run on a short deadline.
  • Most papers offer a variety of sizes with ROP ads as well.

Is Ad Placement Really Important?

Ad placement within the paper is an important consideration, yet you can often request that your ROP ad is targeted at certain reader demographics.

Advertising dollars are the backbone of the newspaper business and they want to make you happy so you keep advertising with them. Many papers will do their best to place ROP ads in certain sections when asked.

There is a lot of debate about whether ads placed in specific locations (known as preferred placement) actually produce better results. Many advertisers will argue that there is no significant difference because today's newspaper readers are very dedicated to scanning every page, including the advertisements.

It does stand to reason that if you can get your menswear store's ad in the sports or business section, you might reach a few more male customers. Likewise, a florist's ad placed in the lifestyle section or near the obituaries and wedding announcements will target readers with a specific interest. That doesn't mean that you have to pay a premium price for those spots.

Talk to your paper's sales rep about adding these requests to your ROP ad package (at no charge, of course). Don't be too disappointed if it doesn't make it in that exact location. A well-designed, eye-catching ad can pop out to the right buyers from any page!

A Few Final Tips About Print Advertising

  • ROP ads may also be available for magazines.
  • Depending on the paper, color ads have limited placement because most pages are printed in black and white.
  • Most newspapers do not allow advertising on the front page.
  • Use a call to action or excite readers with a sense of urgency in your ad. 
  • An ad dominated by a great logo or photo also grabs attention.
  • If you advertise frequently, you can reduce the cost for each ad by signing a contract. You agree to pay for a certain number of ad spots and are allowed to use them in a designated amount of time. It's a good alternative to paying an open rate for single ads, just be sure to use all of the ads.