Scholastic Parent & Child is offering a guarantee to advertisers, reflecting a push for accountability by marketers who want to know not only that their ad reached the target audience, but also that it was noticed and acted on.
Parent & Child said it would guarantee that ads score in the top one-third for action taken among 13 parenting, women’s service and general lifestyle magazines including Parents, Good Housekeeping and Real Simple. If they don’t, the magazine will refund 10 percent of the last ad’s cost.
An advertiser must run in four issues in a six-issue period to participate, a $400,000 commitment, based on the rate card. Parent & Child is using Affinity’s Vista ad-recall service to measure action taken.
The Week made a similar promise in fall 2009, guaranteeing that its ad-recall scores would be in the top third of all magazines the ad runs in. Advertisers have to run 12 or more pages to qualify. Under The Week’s current offer, advertisers get to run free pages until their ad recall reach the top third.
Risa Crandall, vp of Scholastic Parents Media, said about 100 advertisers would qualify for her magazine’s offer, which is aimed at existing and prospective advertisers who don’t appear in parenting magazines.
“We get four brands from Campbell, but this might help us get to that fifth and sixth brand who’s not looking at the category,” she said.
Ildi Pap Conrad, U.S. director of print investment at OMD, lauded the effort to put print on a more even playing field with TV and digital media. She said she was unsure about the use of action taken as the primary criteria for the guarantee, however, noting that that score is influenced by the creative message as well as the environment.
This isn’t the first time 1.3 million circ Parent & Child has bucked convention. Last year, it introduced ads on its covers, which it said led to a 10 percent bump in revenue. For all of 2009, Parent & Child’s ad pages rose 11.8 percent to 639 versus an 11.7 percent decline for all parenting/kids magazines, per the Mediaweek Monitor.