We have a longstanding policy of applying quality controls to all materials that appear in NI publications. Over the years we have been able to offer quicker, cheaper and more user-friendly methods of delivery as they have become available. We believe the options offered to our advertisers are at least comparable with those of other UK national newspapers.
The options for sending files are Adstream's Quickprint, DubSat's AdSend, Qmuli's adfast and Specle's SpecleSend which are intended for anyone from the occasional sender through to professional, high-volume users with critical colour requirements. You can find support helpline telephone numbers for each of the four providers on their respective pages. They will be happy to help you to deliver your print file to News International.
These systems run pre-flight checks on your file to make sure there are no obvious technical problems. If there are, they will need to be fixed before sending the file. This alerts senders to problems early in the process, while there is still time to resolve them. We do not have the facilities to make corrections for you. Without these safeguards, the errors might only come to light on the printed page, with a negative impact on the advertiser and the publication. These precautions are therefore to protect both advertiser and publisher.
Any advertisers who are either unable, or unwilling to send their files by either of these have two other alternatives. They could send their file to a production house, who would prepare it and send it to us for a commercial fee. We are happy to offer contact details. Alternatively, if an advertiser emails us the raw text and a hi-res version of any logos, we will typeset their ad and send them a proof, free of charge. We are happy to do this so long as the design is not exceptionally complicated and the copy is supplied in good time.
All sorts of problems can, and often do, arise with files sent by email, including:
they are sometimes intercepted by NI anti-spam filters;
they can take hours to arrive;
fonts will not reproduce unless they are embedded;
graphics can be low resolution;
they can be the wrong dimensions;
they can contain compressed images;
they can be versions of pdf not supported by NI systems;
the file can include margins, cropmarks, slugs, etc.;
images can include RGB and other colours that will not print;
images can use too-high ink weights, which can cause web-breaks on press;
there are often problems with transparency and overprinting, causing logos and images to 'disappear';
In addition to all the checks that cause a file to 'fail', there are numerous other checks that give the sender 'warnings' for their own information. These include recommendations about minimum text sizes, minimum rule weights, resolution, etc. Senders may choose to ignore these, but each ad delivery option records the fact, which can be helpful when investigating repro issues.
We constantly review the technology available and are keen to offer any other alternatives that would give advertisers more choice, at the most competitive price, while continuing to run quality checks at the sender's end.
For all the above reasons, we do not anticipate any change in our policy in the foreseeable future.
Advertising Production Manager
News International Newspapers Ltd.