Magazine boss attacks ‘illogical’ gap in ad spend

Media agencies are allocating magazines just half the share of advertising spending that the medium receives in the UK, the new chairman of Magazine Publishers Australia has complained.

Acknowledging the tough economic market, Matt Stanton – who also runs Bauer Media – told a media event to relaunch the MPA: “I don’t understand why the UK is on 8% while we are only on 4%. Agency spend has declined at double the rate of consumer spending. It does not make logical sense to us. It’s a mystery to us and something we need to look at.”

Recent years have seen organised marketing of the medium almost non existent. For a while ACP, now rebadged as Bauer after changing ownership, withdrew from the MPA and the organisation went into hibernation. In November last year, former MPA chairman Nick Chan, who runs Pacific Magazines, told a Magazine Week Mumbrella Question Time session: “We’ve done a shit job at marketing ourselves.”

Last month former Freeview marketer Robin Parkes was announced as the MPA’s new executive director. The MPA was originally launched 17 years ago.

Stanton said at the event that the MPA would be working to remind the market of the strengths of the medium. He said: “Engagement levels are very high. There’s an opportunity for us to tell the story better than we have been. It’s completely undercooked. We will find a very scientific way of how we go to market.”

Chan had a similar message about the positives of magazines at the session, saying: “”When you think about magazines and the future, think beyond technology, beyond the rational. We provide an experience that goes beyond ink on paper. Magazines touch people, magazines make people feel good, and magazines let you belong.”

Also speaking at the event was NewsLifeMedia CEO Nicole Sheffield who said that the debate would move on from print versus digital. She said: “In five years time digital will be dead. Remember in the 80s when everyone was talking about multimedia CD Roms? I don’t think we are in the business of paper – we are in the business of inspiring people.”

Next year will see the MPA launch a new trade marketing campaign.

Parkes said: “As an industry, magazines have been pretty quiet in the last few years and focussed on internal issues.

“The relaunch of the MPA signifies the renewed commitment of the three major publishers to the industry, and for improved transparency and unity on the industry issues that count.”


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