Scholastic Parent & Child, which defied industry convention by running an ad on its cover, is planning to break tradition again with cover strip ads and, in what it contends are a consumer magazine first, cover peels.
The corner-cover peel ads, appearing on the covers of the October and November issues, will let the advertiser run a coupon or call to action message. Risa Crandall, vp of Scholastic Parents Media, which publishes the magazine, said the clients who bought the corner peels liked their ability to measure results. She wouldn’t name the advertisers but said one was a packaged goods brand and the other an entertainment company.
Parent & Child started carrying cover ads with the April issue, which carried a triangular-shaped ad in the lower-right corner for Smilebox, a Web site that lets users create digital greetings, scrapbooks and slideshows.
Crandall said she’s sold cover ads for the rest of the issues in ’09, resulting in 10 percent incremental ad revenue. Parent & Child publishes eight issues a year.
The June issue cover ad takes the form of a cover strip and back-cover ad for SunnyD Smoothies. The ad directs readers to download a coupon. Its counterpart on Scholastic.com/Parents will include a link to the advertiser’s Web site where consumers can download a coupon.
The cover ads are an example of how sharply declining ad revenue has led consumer magazines to appeal to advertisers with ever-more unusual ad formats, sometimes blurring the lines between editorial and advertising.
The American Society of Magazine Editors has said the Parent & Child cover ads violate ASME’s guidelines stating that the cover of a magazine should not be used for advertising.
Crandall said the company polled 2,500 readers about the cover ads before running them and that reader reaction was positive.