Inside B2B–Animal Magnetism: Veterinary Ad Sales Show Some ‘Bark’ After a Slow 2011

By Cathy Applefeld Olson
07/16/2012

A look at the most recent ad-sales trends in the veterinary publications sector and one can’t help but notice, well, a certain animal magnetism.

After all, the veterinary sector is one of only two of the top 20 specialty markets tracked by Kantar Media Professional Health that "improved" in their decline in January-May 2012 ad pages compared with the same time period in 2011, according to data min obtained from Kantar (see accompanying chart). Overall, the professional health market posted a slide in ad pages of almost 16% for YTD this May, compared with growth of more than 5% YTD May 2011.

Veterinary publications contributing to the market’s 4% decline—this compared with an 18% YTD decline through May 2011—include Advan-

star ‘s DVM Newsmagazine, Veterinary Economics, and Veterinary Medicine; and Wiley-Blackwell ‘s Veterinary Surgery and Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound. Most impressive was Educational Concepts, LLC ‘s Exceptional Veterinary Team, which showed a 28-plus ad-page gain (+340%) for the year so far.

Veterinary Surgery ‘s biggest selling point is its affiliation with one of the industry’s most respected associations, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. The prestige of board certified "lends a lot of credibility to the publication," says Mark Mvrica, whose MJ Mrvica Associates oversees sales accounts for Veterinary Surgery. Advertising in the journal is the top way vendors can get their message in front of the board members."

Though they may prioritize a high profile with key veterinary decision-makers, digital is not a priority for clients. Mrvica, who notes that Veterinary Surgery ‘s most recent sales numbers are off from last year, says there’s been "surprisingly little interest in online advertising in this market. They like print. They like seeing their ads in the magazine."

Mvrica says the only occasional request for banner ads could be a result of the publication taking only baby steps into the digital realm thus far. "We have very traditional advertising, no e-newsletters or anything like that," he says. "This may be something we need to look at."

What the Veterinary Surgery advertisers lack in technological prowess, they make up for in loyalty to the print pub. "We have a very loyal core of advertisers, some have been with us for eight, nine, 10 years," says Mrvica. "And every year we try to add new companies that haven’t advertised with us before. A lot of these are companies that exhibit at our annual event, where I can spend time with them and explain the benefits not only of exhibiting but advertising in the journal."

min contributor Cathy Applefeld Olson is based in Northern Virginia. She also writes for our sister publication CableFAX Daily.

Below is the chart for the top 10 veterinary publications for Jan.-May from Kantar Media.

Top 10 Veterinary Publications Ad Pages for Jan.-May 2012/2011/2010
Jan.-May 2012 % …2011 % Jan.-May 2010
Title/Publisher Ad pgs. Diff Ad pgs. Diff Ad pgs.
DVM Newsmagazine/Advantar 330.0 -0.2% 330.6 -5.0% 348.0
NAVC Clinician’s Brief/Educational Concepts, LLC 175.9 -8.2% 191.6 13.9% 168.2
Veterinary Economics/Advanstar 105.7 2.1% 103.5 -14.6% 121.2
Trends Magazine/American Animal Hospital Assn. 84.1 -28.4% 117.4 -7.0% 126.3
Firstline/Advanstar 74.1 -0.7% 74.6 -5.3% 78.8
Veterinary Medicine/Advanstar 58.9 -14.0% 68.5 -22.6% 88.5
Veterinary Surgery/Wiley-Blackwell 54.0 -9.2% 59.5 4.4% 57.0
Exceptional Veterinary Team/Educational Concepts, LLC 28.7 341.5% 6.5 N/A 0.0
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound/Wiley-Blackwell 7.5 0.0% 7.5 -31.8% 11.0
Journal Of Equine Veterinary Science/ W.B. Saunders Co. 6.0 50.0% 4.0 -20.0% 5.0
Total Top 10 924.9 -4.0% 963.7 -4.0% 1,004.0
Total All Veterinary 924.8 -4.0% 963.7 -18.0% 1,175.1
Estimated Gross Ad Spending YTD: $8 million

And, from Kantar, here is how the "human" medical and dental magazine sectors fared cumulatively from Jan.-May:

Top 20 Medical/Dental Specialty Ad Pages in Jan.-May (2012/2011/2010)
Jan.-May 2012 % …2011 % Jan.-May 2010
Discipline Ad pgs. Diff Ad pgs. Diff Ad pgs.
Multispecialty 4,194.00 -23.3% 5,466.70 2.6% 5,327.20
Dental 3,657.70 -9.5% 4,042.90 1.4% 3,988.30
Oncology 3,337.90 -16.7% 4,006.30 2.6% 3,906.10
Pharmacy 2,421.30 -13.3% 2,792.50 14.5% 2,439.30
Optometry 2,032.40 -8.0% 2,208.40 5.4% 2,094.60
Cardiology 1,844.30 -14.0% 2,143.30 19.2% 1,797.80
Ophthalmology 1,746.60 -8.8% 1,915.10 -5.2% 2,020.40
Internal Medicine 1,746.10 -17.3% 2,111.90 50.3% 1,405.30
Dermatology 1,596.70 -3.3% 1,650.60 20.3% 1,371.70
Healthcare Business Management 1,544.40 6.0% 1,457.40 -16.5% 1,746.20
Orthopedic Surgery 1,440.60 -1.7% 1,466.00 10.1% 1,331.90
Nursing 1,433.90 -18.2% 1,752.10 3.4% 1,695.30
Gastroenterology 1,194.80 9.9% 1,086.70 15.3% 942.1
Neurology 1,163.80 -16.9% 1,400.20 26.1% 1,110.50
Psychiatry 946.2 -31.9% 1,390.20 -3.7% 1,444.30
Rheumatology 894 -32.2% 1,318.30 56.3% 843.3
Pa/Np 773.1 -29.4% 1,095.30 12.7% 971.9
Laboratory 727.9 -4.2% 759.7 -10.6% 849.8
Extended Healthcare 607.2 -10.9% 681.7 39.5% 488.8
Obstetrics & Gynecology 567.7 -35.6% 881 2.6% 858.8
Total Top 20 33,870.60 -14.5% 39,626.30 8.2% 36,633.60
Grand Total 42,049.00 -15.6% 49,834.80 5.4% 47,275.60