Fashion Mags Lose Ad Pages, Prepare For Slimmer Issues For Fall

July 10, 2009 • Fashion

Sienna Miller graces the cover of Vogue's July 2009 issue

As publishers approach the end of their fall deadline next week, some fashion magazines are having to swallow the bitter fact that their September issues will be up to one third lighter than in past years. Not many are surprised, considering the worst comparative-store sales results in history at retail occurred
during the first half of 2009 and with a recovery not expected until
mid-2010. Yet despite the anticipated drop, most publishers are forecasting a sharper decline in ad pages
compared with even last year’s levels. Ad execs have been trying anything to boost September sales, including extending close dates, aggressive discounting on page
rates, and adding values
. These efforts were an attempt to cause the declining sales to bottom out at 20 percent, though now most are experiencing closer to a 30 percent drop. Yet for some, up to 30 percent fewer ads in their September issues will not be as awful a fate as it may seem. Magazines more dependent on newly
frugal luxury advertisers were hinting at an even more painful 40 percent decline in paging for the spring.

Publishers are responding to this advertising downturn accordingly. Many don't seem too panicked, and are just using the necessary precautions to ride out the wave successfully. In past months, clients have cut noncore titles from their schedule
entirely while booking fewer pages in their core books. “People who
placed four pages last year are doing two and spreading their pages
across the year,” said one publisher. "Fashion Rocks" corporate marketing program had ro become a casualty for Conde Nast titles like Vogue, Lucky, Allure, and GQ, though many editors claimed the September issue of their mags will be the largest issue for the fall.
How was this possible? Most of their advertisers either opted out of the pre-collection ads which run in August, or will make up the difference with fewer ads in the upcoming issues of October, November, and December.

Article Source: WWD
Photo Source:
-Alia Rajput

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