Mag Bag: Rodale Names Zemoga Digital AOR
The practice of magazine publishers pairing up with ad agencies in long-term partnerships -- often through acquisitions, but also with teaming agreements -- is becoming more common.
In the latest such move, health and fitness publisher Rodale has appointed Zemoga its digital agency of record to help clients create and execute online and mobile ad campaigns across multiplatform brands, like Men's Health, Women's Health, Prevention and Runner's World. The deal cements an earlier working relationship dating back to 2008.
As noted, other big publishers have bulked up their agency assets through outright acquisitions. Back in June, Hearst Corp. acquired iCrossing to create new digital marketing opportunities across its growing online publishing portfolio in search and online marketing, include planning and development for Web, email, mobile and social-media marketing.
Since 2006, Meredith Corp. has acquired O'Grady Meyers, specializing in customer-relationship marketing and Web site development; Genex, an interactive marketing services firm specializing in online customer relationship marketing; New Media Strategies, an interactive viral and word-of-mouth marketing company; Directive, a database strategy and analytics specialist; Big Communications, specializing in healthcare marketing; and mobile ad firm the Hyperfactory.
Meredith's integrated marketing division, which includes most of these agencies, has generally been the fastest-growing part of the company in terms of revenue, with the exception of a downturn in 2010 reflecting the broader recession.
The Integrated Marketing division has been a revenue driver for Meredith over the last couple of years, due to a combination of acquisitions and organic growth. From 2007-2009, total revenues rose 70% to $170 million, increasing from about 6% of Meredith's total revenues to 12% over that period. In the company's 2010 fiscal year (which ended in June), IM's revenues dipped 7% to $158 million, reflecting the broader economic downturn, and representing just over 11% of the company's total revenues.
Interlink Names New Execs
Source Interlink Media unveiled a slew of high-ranking executive. Doug Evans was appointed executive vice president and group publisher of Source's enthusiast automotive business, which includes the Street Performance, Rod & Restoration, Truck & Offroad and Motorcycle Groups.
Ira Gabriel was named executive vice president of the consumer media group, but will maintain his responsibilities as head of the Motor Trend Automotive Group. Brad Gerber was named executive vice president of sales and chief marketing officer; in this role he will continue managing all sales functions and maintain oversight of digital advertising operations, while placing more focus on Source's integrated marketing strategy.
Howard Lim was named senior vice president of new product development; he will continue as group publisher of Source's international automotive group. Finally, Source appointed Eric Schwab publisher of Motor Trend, Automobile, as well as senior vice president of integrated sales.
Atlantic Turns a Profit
Close on the heels of its biggest issue ever in terms of ad pages and revenue, The Atlantic became profitable again for the first time in decades in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Folio. Total advertising revenues increased 37%, thanks to a 70% jump in digital revenues and a 37% increase in events revenue.
Perhaps most remarkably, given the generally weak state of consumer magazine ad demand, print revenues increased a whopping 27%. Atlantic Media president Justin Smith says the mag is on course for a "multi-million dollar profit" in 2011. Publisher Jay Lauf attributed much of its success over the last year to custom sales efforts, including cover unit packages for its "Brave Thinkers" issue.
Vegetarian Times Increases Rate Base 10%, Plans Another Bump Soon
Vegetarian Times has boosted its rate base 10% from 250,000 to 275,000, and plans to increase it by another 25,000 issues in September of this year, owner Active Interest Media announced this week. Touting the desirability of its growing audience, AIM said vegetarians spend over $11 billion annually on groceries, vitamins, and other nutrition-related goods. Advertisers are responding, with VT's ad pages jumping 15% over the last two years -- no mean feat, considering the well-publicized woes of the consumer magazine industry in general during this period. MRI estimates there are 3.2 million vegetarians in the U.S., making up just over 1% of the population.