Top 5 Mags March: Architectural Digest Leads with 80% Ad Page Gain

By Greer Jonas

March advertising madness hits shelter mags (Architectural Digest and Elle Decor), fashion mags (People StyleWatch and Seventeen) and one key metro/regional (Texas Monthly).

min‘s first-quarter report showed a moderate 1.15% ad-page growth in 2011 compared to 2010. The gain is encouraging, however, since we have not seen a positive first quarter since 2007 (see timeline). Our chart further shows a hopeful advertising year with 82 out of 150 monthly magazines showing upward gains in March and 80 showing improvement for the first quarter (Jan.-March 2011 vs. 2010).

2007-2011 Monthly Magazine Timeline
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
1st qtr. 2nd qtr. 3rd qtr. 4th qtr. 1st qtr. 2nd qtr. 3rd qtr. 4th qtr. 1st qtr. 2nd qtr. 3rd qtr. 4th qtr. 1st qtr. 2nd qtr. 3rd qtr. 4th qtr. 1st qtr.
+2.67% +1.24% +0.96% +3.84% -4.61% -6.14% -11.52% -13.89% -21.54% -23.81% -21.17% -17.09% -5.70% +4.86% +8.65% +7.77% +1.15%

Here are the top 5 monthlies for March.

1. Architectural Digest. With an 80.64% increase in March, AD VP/publisher, Giulio Capua tells min about its promise for 2011. “The March issue increase was fueled by the continued recovery of the luxury and housing markets, and the tremendous amount of excitement and marketplace support for [editor-in-chief] Margaret Russell’s first issue.”

2. People StyleWatch. With a 75% gain in March and a 50% gain the first quarter, StyleWatch‘s strong growth continues.The magazine took the top slot in our 2011 Spring Fashion preview.

3. Seventeen. Also part of the women’s beauty/fashion March report in the January 24 min, Seventeen‘s  66% hike in March was the month’s "biggest in three years," says VP/publisher Jayne Jamison. Beauty, fashion and retail comprised 85% of the business. Major advertiser was Dillard’s with an eight-page insert, and Procter & Gamble, Katy Perry, Olay, iConix (Candies, Bongo) were among those that increased spending. There was even a page from Duct Tape as the new rage in 2011 is to make prom dresses out of it.

4. Texas Monthly. TM (+43%) celebrates 175 years of Texas with a road trip and contest taking the reader to 175 places in the state’s history. The pullout map allows readers to navigate through the 6,000-mile journey of big events in sports, culinary (including where the hamburger was invented), crime (where Bonnie and Clyde met), politics and more. "The Texas economy has remained strong over the years," TM publisher and Emmis VP/group publisher Amy Banner Saralegui tells min. "National advertising is back in a significant way, so more advertisers in the automotive, fragrance, cosmetic and apparel categories want to reach affluent Texans who read Texas Monthly."  Advertisers that participated in the lenticular (tilt the cover and you see a waving "lone-star" flag) issue were NBC, HEB and Ford.

5. Elle Decor. The second shelter magazine in our top 5 has a 39.91% gain in March with 112.59 ad pages. "Among our diverse list of advertisers are brands such as Acura, Sub-Zero, La Prairie, DVF Home, Bottega Veneta, Room + Board, Chanel, California Closets and Calvin Klein Fragrances to name a few," ED VP/publisher Barbara Friedmann tells min. "In addition, reader demand is up as well—our second-half ABC data show that newsstand is +26%, the #1 performance in the category, with average single copy sales of 95,302. Clearly, ED‘s fresh, distinctive editorial approach is resonating with readers and advertisers alike, putting us in position for another strong year."

See min‘s premium March monthly magazine report.

Greer Jonas is managing editor of min.


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