Marketing to Moms: Magazine Mayhem in 2009

December 16, 2009 § Leave a comment

Magazine growth was hard to come by in 2009.  In October, Condé Nast made the decision to close four titles, including the iconic, 68-year-old grand dame Gourmet.

Editor Ruth Reichl’s Twitter post from that day still tugs at my heart:

Thank you all SO much for this outpouring of support. It means a lot. Sorry not to be posting now, but I’m packing. We’re all stunned, sad.

Reichl told the Los Angeles Times the day after the closure announcement:

“It’s ironic because our circulation has never been higher.  And yet advertising dollars are a challenge.”

Gourmet may live on in cookbooks and, but Ruth hit the nail on the head.  The game is about advertising pages.

Ad pages for the 70 leading consumer magazines had healthy page increases until 2008 when they experienced a 10 percent drop, followed by a devastating 22 percent drop for year-to-date 2009.  It seems that recessionary periods heighten the problems surrounding an industry.

And the challenges to the magazine industry are beyond just recessionary pressures.  There are issues surrounding the less measurable, static nature of printed publications, the gap between advertising revenues for offline versus online media, and value to audience.  Moms are leaning to social media and more interactive resources for information and interaction.  Magazines that can bridge those worlds will do better with younger Moms.

So who’s winning the advertising revenue game?  See the latest from  Note that except for a couple of male muscle magazines, the majority are still magazines that boast appeal to moms.



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