Magazines reposition pitch to bad economy

TORONTO: So far, the widespread content and job cuts by US media outlets hasn't spread north of the border, but the Canadian magazine industry is hurting.

TORONTO: So far, the widespread content and job cuts by US media outlets hasn't spread north of the border, but the Canadian magazine industry is hurting.

In recent weeks, Masthead, Ukula, Frank, and Dream House have all announced plans to cease publication. Leading consumer magazines, meanwhile, were hit with a 12.2% combined drop in ad pages during the third quarter of 2008, versus the same time last year, according to Leading National Advertisers Canada.

Magazines Canada, which represents over 300 of the country's titles, is hoping to help publishers, sales, and agency reps better communicate the strength of magazine advertising in a soft economy. It has created what it calls a “Toolkit for the Times”, which features a 58-page fact book, video podcasts, and a monthly e-newsletter. “We wanted to put as much ammunition in one place as possible, for when they need it most,” said Gary Garland, executive director of advertising services, Magazines Canada.

In the toolkit, sales reps can read advice about how to go about positioning magazines to budget-conscious media buyers and advertisers, including highlighting the fact that it is an affordable way for a brand to maintain long-term visibility in the markeplace. Magazines Canada also plans to launch a tactical promotion called "Surprise Me", which is being developed with the input of ad sales directors and will be aimed at communicating its message to decision makers.

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