Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. There are 465 daily newspapers in the country today. Brazil has more newspaper than Mexico, Germany and Russia but the readership, and circulation is low compared to other countries. The literacy rate in Brazil still sits at about 83 percent. Even though there is no national newspaper the circulation of some of the big daily papers extend beyond their geographic markets. Several of those newspapers are part of family-owned businesses that also own radio and television stations, and few of those companies operate news agencies, publishing houses and satellite and cable operations.
Cláudio Loureiro, the founder and director of Heads Propaganda, knows the history of Brazilian newspapers. Back in the 1990s when Loureiro was first getting started in the advertising business, newspapers played an important role in getting a new type of advertising started. But daily papers were also the catalyst that exposed political corruption, environmental degradation, and homelessness back then. Mr. Loureiro thinks newspapers helped the country change the political and economic structure of the country. Newspapers didn’t always have the ability to give the public the information they needed whether it was through advertising or some sort of social message. During the 1960s and part of the 1970s, the government censored newspapers, and journalists were persecuted by the government. Some journalists even lost their lives, according to Loureiro.
In the late 1970s, Brazil’s media, especially newspapers and magazines, were responsible for pushing and then overseeing the transition of the country from a military state to democratic society. Democracy immensely affected the advertising business during the 1980s, according to Loureiro. The advertising business started to change, and the newspapers and magazines were the first vehicles that introduced that change. Newspaper advertising was very effective during the late 1990s because newspapers had more credibility than Congress, the government and other public institutions.
In 1995, Brazil advertising amounted to US$ 6.5 billion, and 28 percent of that amount ($1.8 Billion) was newspaper advertising. Today, many of the Brazilian media organizations are owned by foreign companies. Those companies have played an important role in Brazil’s advertising success, but the advertising agencies and newspapers that are owned by Brazilians have made the most impact on the advertising business. Brazilian ads are considered the best in the business today. Advertising agencies have newspapers to thank for their success, and most them know they would lose a lot of advertising dollars without daily newspapers.