September magazines: always one of my favorite stories of the year.

Posted on July 21, 2011

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2-D Bar Codes in Glamour’s September Issue Will Let You ‘Like’ Advertisers on Facebook
Effort Attempts to Make Codes Friendlier and Find Fans for Brands in the Process

Most fashion magazines’ crucial September issues are showing gains, although some are more substantial than others.

Vogue’s crucial September issue will include 584 ad pages, a 9.3% gain over its September 2010 issue, which in turn was up 25% over the issue the year before.

Vogue set its ad-page record back in 2007, when it published a monster September issue including 727 ad pages. Susan Plagemann, who has been VP-publisher at Vogue since January 2010, suggested that people should stop fixating on the mark, achieved before recession caused many advertisers to reduce budgets. “Stop referencing that,” she said. “That was a different day. I think we’re in a new moment. The best and the strongest businesses have to look forward.”

Glamour magazine, a Vogue sibling at Conde Nast, is running about 240 ad pages, about even with last year’s issue, which benefited from advertiser demand for the iPad edition the title was then introducing. This year Glamour pitched potential advertisers on 2-D bar codes that readers can photograph to “like” advertisers on Facebook and receive special offers. A “Friends & Fans” app that readers can use to take pictures of the codes will include 25 advertisers, Glamour said, such as Lancome, Smashbox and HTC.

That program helped Glamour’s September issue bring in more revenue than any issue in its history, the magazine said.

InStyle, published by Time Inc., is running 431 ad pages (including its makeover special), 5.8% more than in September 2010 and the most in the magazine’s history. Its previous high-water mark for ads came in September 2000, when it ran 430. “Brands new to the issue include Donna Karan Collection, Tod’s and Reed Krakoff,” group publisher Connie Anne Phillips said. “Existing business that has grown includes Chanel and Giorgio Armani.”

Over at Hearst, September ad pages increased 2.2% at Harper’s Bazaar to total 308. Ad pages increased 13.8% at Cosmopolitan and 16.8% at Marie Claire but their totals remained below 200. September ad pages fell 6.8% for Elle, for which Hearst recently bought the publishing rights, coming off an anniversary issue last year.

Love the stories from AdAge on September magazines. Always gets me thinking about advertising, how much is too much (584 ad pages!) and how marketers are engaging differently (QR codes that trigger Facebook likes, in this case). Can’t wait for September issues to hit the shelves!

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