Hearst Launches Digital Cross-Country Sales Division

Totally Global Media to sell across Hearst and partner sites

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In the magazine business, buying and selling ads across international editions has always presented its challenges. Most ad buying is done locally, and magazines often aren't set up to execute cross-title buys. Then there's the difficulty of coordinating across time zones. It’s enough of a hassle, in fact, that most advertisers don’t even attempt cross-country buys. Yet demand for such deals is on the rise as brands try to reach consumers globally while cutting their expenses.

With the launch of a new division, Totally Global Media, Hearst is hoping to solve many of those problems and bring efficiency to buying and ad production, at least on the digital side. TGM, as it’s being called, will give brands a way to advertise across all Hearst Magazines' digital brands worldwide, as well as licensees and related companies (such as Groupe Marie Claire, which already partners with Hearst on French Cosmopolitan but will now offer access to its entire women’s and men’s digital networks through TGM). The division, with offices in New York and London, will reach 200 million monthly unique visitors. 

“Before now, if an advertiser wanted to buy across every edition of Cosmo, there was no way to do it," said Gina Garrubbo, svp of Hearst Magazines International and now the svp of TGM. "There is a need [for this type of service] in the marketplace and a number of clients who want to buy multi-country from one source."

Here’s how it works: The advertiser pays a single production fee that includes all production, translating, and hosting across multiple international websites. TGM offers standard IAB-sized ad units as well as custom “mini marketing programs” that can be placed within banner ads—like a fashion designer “lookbook” that includes a live Instagram feed, link to the designer’s e-commerce site and store locations, all inside a banner ad. (“Even though 98 percent of our partners around the world use standard IAB units, logistically, it makes it so easy to have these custom programs running within banner ad units,” said Garrubbo.) Garrubbo said that pricing rates and packaging would be handled on the U.S. end. 

Garrubbo said these digital marketing programs would be suited to marketers that have global appeal, yet translate locally. Burberry is a good example, she said: “When my plane arrived in Beijing last year, there was a full-sized Burberry poster that just said Burberry.com with a picture of a purse—no Chinese characters,” she said. “They have the same look and feel everywhere in the world.”


@adweekemma emma.bazilian@adweek.com Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.