Free Trips to Paris Generate AAN Excitement

The “Paris Winter Getaway” contest announced last week by AAN has alternative newsweekly classified departments buzzing.

Under contest rules, both the classified sales rep who generates the most AAN CAN revenue from new advertisers through the end of October, and the classified manager whose paper collectively does the same, will earn complimentary airfare and six nights accommodations for two in the City of Lights.

Excitement surrounding the contest, which was announced last Thursday via the AAN classified listserv, has generated a deluge of calls and emails to the headquarters office. “In all my years of sales management, I don’t remember another incentive that produced such a tremendous buzz,” says AAN Director of Sales and Marketing Roxanne Cooper. “I’ve heard from folks from all four corners of AAN, small and large papers alike, requesting more AAN CAN information, sales tips and contest details,”

Paul Curci, publisher of Philadelphia City Paper and AAN Marketing Chair, affirmed that the Paris AAN CAN promotion has caused quite a stir at his paper. “The reps are absolutely jazzed — and determined to win, it seems,“ says Curci.

In addition to excitement, the contest has created some friendly cross-country competition between participating AAN members. The sales force at the San Francisco Bay Guardian was the first to throw down the gauntlet. “We’re going all out to win both prizes and for the chance to whip Robby Robbins ass at AAN CAN,” says Guardian Advertising Sales Manager Jody Colley. To which Independent Weekly Classified Manager and AAN Classified Chair Robbins, perhaps inspired by President Bush’s memorable line about guerrilla warriors in Iraq, replies, “Bring it on, baby. Bring it on.”

Michael Fernald, Boston Phoenix classified ad director, was a bit more circumspect: “I believe the AAN CAN Paris project will help bolster sales and increase overall awareness of this underutilized, but highly valuable program,” he says.

The AAN CAN program, which generates over 60 percent of the association’s income, is back on track following a brief slump earlier this fiscal year. At over $91,000 in network sales, July 2003 was the program’s best month in over a year.

For more information about AAN CAN or the Paris Winter Getaway contest, please contact Roxanne Cooper at the AAN office.