Our paper has been written against the background of two ongoing and inter-related developments affecting the newspaper industry. These developments are now having a profound impact on the way that news information is disseminated and in the way that the equity in newspaper brands is managed. As we reach the end of the 20th Century a major change has started to take place in the way we access news information. Newspaper publishers are rolling out electronic versions of their titles and clearly it makes sense for the online editions to capitalise on the high levels of title awareness enjoyed by the parent paper. In parallel, during the 1990s there has been a growing acceptance in many markets that understanding the strength of the relationship between consumers and products is essential information for brand and corporate management. Many fmcg and service brands go to great lengths to measure consumer commitment and to identify what factors motivate and undermine it. Increasingly this knowledge is exerting a profound influence on marketing and communication strategies. However, at present many publishers have limited knowledge about what drives consumer commitment to the existing printed edition, let alone what if any effect this will have on take up of the new electronic editions. And conversely, what effect will online access have on commitment to the newsprint version?

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