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Magazine Ads Creeping Back

Pages down 9.4 percent, but auto advertising posts first quarterly uptick since 2007

Last year was a brutal one for magazine advertising. The industry lost more than a quarter of its ad pages in 2009 compared to 2008 – and an estimated $4.2 billion in advertising revenue.

The first quarter of 2010 wasn’t great either – ad pages slid 9.4 percent over the same period last year, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures released Friday.

But there were at least some signs of life, the biggest coming from Detroit. The automobile industry was one of three major categories of advertising to show an increase in spending during the period – and the first since 2007.

Overall, there were 85 magazines that posted an increase in ad pages during the first quarter, compared to just 15 during the same period in 2009.

Among the big winners: People Style Watch, which more than doubled its ad pages for the quarter; Entertainment Weekly, up nearly 27 percent in ad pages; Real Simple, up about 25 percent; Teen Vogue, up 24.2 percent; and Us Weekly, up 23.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the repositioned Newsweek continues to struggle, with ad pages tumbling Time – down 3.2 percent in ad pages – fared much better, even edging out the Economist (- 3.7 percent) and The Week (- 4.9 percent) in the newsweekly category.
Other titles that had a rough first quarter: Spin, which slid 37.7 percent; Men’s Journal (-32.3 percent); TV Guide (-27.6 percent); and W (-22.6 percent).

Here are the top and bottom 15 in ad page gains, or losses, in terms of percentage:

The Top 15

1. People Style Watch 134.4
2. Scuba Diving 107.6
3. Executive Travel Skyguide 79.1
4. Martha Stewart Weddings 77.4
5. Technology Review 46.1
6. Boys’ Life 43.9
7. Ser Padres 42.6
8. Scientific American 33.4
9. Nexos 27.4
10. Country Weekly 26.9
11. Entertainment Weekly 26.7
12. Real Simple 24.8
13. Baby Talk 24.5
14. Teen Vogue 24.2
15. OK Weekly 23.5

The Bottom 15

1. National Geographic Kids -57.6
2. Wakeboarding -49.0
3. Caribbean Travel & Life -47.6
5. Veranda -45.3
6. American Photo -41.6
7. Skiing -41.0
8. Spin -37.7
9. Sport Diver -36.5
10. Coastal Living -36.1
11. Sports Illustrated Kids -35.3
12. Jet -33.1
13. Men’s Journal -32.3
14. Country Living -30.9
15. Fit Pregnancy -30.8

SOURCE: PIB

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