‘We fought with one arm tied behind our back’, says Pacific Magazines, as ad revenues dip

Pacific Magazines has said it fought with “one arm behind our back” in the last financial year as it blamed its poor advertising revenue on a lack of digital products.

Zavecz could be set to depart Pacific Magazines in favour of News Corp

Chief executive of Seven West Media’s magazine division, Peter Zavecz, said the company relied virtually on its print assets alone for the majority of the year until it took its digital assets back in-house from Yahoo7 in March.

Since then, PacMags has been “building out” its digital products, he said, including the launch earlier this week of Foodiful, which will go head-to-head with NewsLifeMedia’s

Speaking after Pac Mags reported a heavy 56% decline in earnings and a 17% drop in advertising revenue, Zavecz said the current financial year should reap its rewards.

“The first thing to recognise is that for the majority of the year we did not have our digital assets all in place, they came from March onwards when we brought back our big websites for our big brands,” he said, citing Marie Claire, New Idea and Better Homes and Gardens as examples.

“We’ve had to build out those assets and the full benefit will be realised in next 12 months.”

He continued: “You saw a deterioration of advertising revenues in the second half when we were were virtually fighting with one arm behind our back as we only had our print assets. We now go into the next 12 months fully armed with a very strong proposition in those key consumer and advertiser categories.”foodiful

Zavecz singled out Foodiful, which will “enhance our footprint, particularly in FMCG markets”.

Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner said Pacific Magazines’ management was reviewing the profitability of the group on a title-by-title basis.

Meanwhile, he rejected any suggestion that Seven West Media would consider buying or joint-venturing with Bauer Media.

“Bauer is a big company and would be a fair bit for us to bite off,” he said. “The businesses are quite different we are focused on our own titles and making more money out of them.”


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