Magazine Push to Roll Out in April

The five rival publishing companies that are collaborating on a new marketing campaign plan to disclose details of the initiative in March and break it in April in the pages of their magazines.
Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Time Inc. and Wenner Media are funding the campaign, which Mediaweek first reported in November, in the latest example of embattled publishing competitors joining to promote the medium as vital.
WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam is handling the creative, which will be open to other members of the Magazine Publishers of America. The effort may also have a digital component in addition to print.
Execs from the backing companies plan to announce the campaign at the 4A’s Transformation 2010 conference, set for Feb. 28-March 3 in San Francisco.
“The message is this: Industry leaders are joining forces to solve problems,” Jack Griffin, president of Meredith’s National Media Group, told Mediaweek. “I think it’s an opportunity to speak up at a time when the media landscape has gotten very confusing, and I think the campaign asserts the intrinsic value of the magazine medium.”
Griffin mentioned the campaign in passing while speaking on a panel at DeSilva + Phillips’ Media Dealmakers Summit 2010.
He is scheduled to share the stage at the 4A’s along with Hearst Magazines’ Cathie Black, Wenner Media’s Jann Wenner and Time Inc.’s Ann Moore, according to the conference agenda.
All of the firms involved in the initiative except Wenner are also backing, in tandem with News Corp., Next Issue Media, a newly formed digital publishing consortium. Next Issue’s goals include setting digital publishing standards and creating a digital storefront to sell magazine editions for e-readers.