In a nod to the iconic Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Meredith's Family Circle has launched an awards program that it hopes will boost sales in a still-unsteady advertising climate.
The Family Circle of Excellence program doesn't conduct rigorous lab testing of the products or offer a guarantee if they don't perform as advertised, as Hearst's Good Housekeeping does. The new program is aimed at boosting ad pages, though. The magazine is allowing marketers to buy the rights to use the seal in their own promotional efforts or buy incremental print ads if they want to use the seal in those placements. To date, two winners are upping their ad commitments to use the seal: Purex, and a second one Family Circle wouldn't name.
The program, which will be announced in the April 17 issue, also has an e-commerce component through a deal with Drugstore.com. Visitors to FamilyCircle.com can click to buy the winners' products on Drugstore.com, which agreed to let Family Circle share information with marketers about whether the program led to a lift in sales.
"We believe there's power in the Family Circle brand and editors' recommendations," said Carey Witmer, who until recently was vp, publisher, Family Circle and is now vp, group publisher, Meredith Parents Network.
As for what products get vetted, she said those decisions are strictly editorial: "I stay as far away from that as possible."