Following Months Of Gains, Magazine Ad Pages Tumble In August

After months of consecutive ad page increases, demand for consumer magazines inexplicably fell in August, according to estimates released late Monday by the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB). Ad pages for the month totaled 15,223--down 2.2 percent from August 2004, and the first such drop in seven months.

Magazine rate card-reported advertising revenue for the month of August increased 1.0 percent when compared with the same period last year, with revenue finishing out at $1,487,016. That suggests that magazine advertisers either negotiated deals below published rate cards, or paid higher advertising rates in the face of declining demand from advertisers.

According to the PIB's previous numbers, ad pages for July 2005 had totaled 16,236--up 3.1 percent from the same month last year--and some industry figures cautioned against reading too much into the new numbers.

"You really can't look at a single month and make a trend," said Ellen Oppenheim, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), citing that advertising numbers for other media, such as newspapers, had yet to be released. "We don't have a media context for all of this yet, so we don't know if there is an (overall) advertising trend."



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