Condé Nast, P&G Strike Ad Deal

In a hellish advertising year for Condé Nast, the publishing company is about to get a shot in the arm from Procter & Gamble.

The consumer packaged-goods giant is executing a buy that will involve multiple titles and related Web sites in September, a critical month for fashion and beauty books in newsstand and advertising sales.

A spokeswoman for the Condé Nast Media Group, the company’s corporate sales unit, said she couldn’t discuss dealings with an advertiser. A rep for the P&G’s mass and female beauty business said the company doesn’t comment on its marketing plans.

But sources who confirmed the deal said it was one of the biggest integrated ad deals for the packaged-goods giant. The campaign includes P&G’s CoverGirl, Olay, Pantene, Secret and Gillette’s Venus brands, the sources said.

The magazines include Allure, Glamour and Self as well as W, Vogue and Vanity Fair, titles that are better known for their luxury fashion than for mass beauty ads.

P&G has increased spending in many print media categories even as it’s slashed total media spend in the recession. This year through April, P&G’s overall media spend totaled $774.8 million, a decline of 23.3 percent versus the year-ago period (Internet spending not included), per Nielsen. In that same time, P&G cut its total TV spending by 31.1 percent to $526.3 million while increasing its national magazine budget by 6.9 percent, to $208.3 million.

Nearly all magazines have suffered this year from the advertising downturn, but Condé Nast, with its practice of being inflexible on ad rates and reliance on luxury advertising, has experienced greater year-over-year ad page declines at its glossies than others. In the past year, it closed startups Condé Nast Portfolio, its business/luxury lifestyle magazine; shelter lifestyle title Domino; and Men’s Vogue, citing their weak financial prospects.