Covers Sell

Covers Sell

The Grid…Ad pages Up!

Posted by Scott On October - 16 - 2012

Laas Turnbull was hired in August of 2010 with the task of improving the fortunes of Eye Weekly. 

Owned by Torstar, the alternative weekly appeared to be floundering, against the venerable NOW magazine. 

But it appears momentum may have shifted.

According to LNA data, ad pages were in decline:

  • 2008…1,009 pages
  • 2009…902 pages, down 11%
  • 2010…735 pages, down 19%
  • 2011…708 pages, down 4%…and a cumulative slide of 301 pages or nearly 30%

But after a bold new re-design and re-branding, which debuted in May 2011, The Grid has won many awards, including cover of the year at the National Magazine Awards, and, perhaps more importantly, is winning back advertisers.

“When we set out to launch The Grid, we wanted to create a sexy, immersive environment for advertisers. We also wanted to be as creative on the client side as we hoped to be on the product side. I think we’ve very quickly established a reputation in the agency community for generating really fun, energetic, creative ideas that we can execute both quickly and at a high level. More and more, we find that agencies come to us when they want something unusual and impactful,” says Lass Turnbull, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief.

According to LNA data, The Grid has sold 717 ad pages from Jan–Sep 2012…up from 481 pages in the same period in 2011…that’s an increase of 236 pages or a 49% improvement.  That’s huge.  And the 4th quater could see even bigger gains.

On top of this, The Grid decided to stop accepting “adult classified” ads, a very lucrative, but controversial  (some say sexist and/or dehumanizing) category of ads, that Now Magazine continues to carry, despite it’s so-called “progressive editorial slant.” 

NOW’s ad sales, according to LNA, have been in a steady decline since 2007.

  • 2007…2,385 pages
  • 2008…2,130 pages, down 11%
  • 2009…2,057 pages, down 3.4%
  • 2010…1,991 pages, down 3.2%
  • 2011…1,841 pages, down 7.5%, and cumulative loss of 23% since 2007
  • 2012 year to date ad pages are flat….almost identical to 2011 Jan-Sep at 1,330

However, “adult classified” ads are not counted by LNA, so that represents potentially huge revenue for NOW.  Perhaps the LNA data suggests that ad agencies are starting to grow weary, or are simply embarrassed, about having their brands associated with “adult classifieds” and other juvenile, and hypocritical, publicity stunts.  As one industry wag pointed out, “there is still a large ad page gap to close, even without hooker ads.”

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About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.

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