Magazine Leaders Want Advertisers to Know: ‘We’re Not Dead Yet’

Magazine publishers have apparently had enough of the “print is dead” taunts from the online world. Five of them have taken the unusual step of banding together to launch a campaign to remind advertisers that magazines are a vibrant medium—and one that reaches consumers.

The organizations—Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith Corporation, Time Inc, and Wenner Media—launched the campaign in San Francisco this morning at the Leadership/Media Conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Starting next month, almost 100 titles will run ads touting the power of magazines to reach and engage audiences.

“These past few years the magazine industry has taken a beating, much of it unjustifiably so, based on the merits and the fundamentals we presented today, and the blaze of innovation that has happened,” Jack Griffin, president of Meredith Corporation’s National Media Group, told WebNewser. “I hope that the agencies and clients that see the value of the media mix will be more confident, that they’ll have a fact base to address challenges and questions, and that they will have the firm sense that the magazine industry has advocates and evangelists.”

The stats the mags want you to know, plus comments from Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black, after the jump.


Here are few of the things the publishers want advertisers to know:

  • Magazine readership has not only not fallen, it’s actually risen 4.3% over the past five years
  • Contrary to various memes floating around, young people are not abandoning magazines. Readership among 18-34 year-olds has grown 2.4% over the past five years. Plus, they read more issues and spend more time per issue than their over-34 counterparts.
  • Since Facebook was created, magazines have gained 1 million younger readers.
  • In the 12 years Google has been around, magazine readership increased 11%.

    “We’re busting the myths about what the trade coverage has been about the future of magazines,” Black told WebNewser. “We feel very bullish…. But we need people to understand the power of this medium.”

    The campaign’s ads will also run in magazines belonging to Active Interest Media, Bonnier Corporation, Emmis Publications, and Miller Publishing Group. The campaign will last seven months and will include ads like the one below.

    “What better message than to have extraordinary photography, great writing, compelling statistics,” Black said. “That’s essentially what an ad campaign should do—in a cheeky, bold, powerful way.”