Magazine article Marketing

Leaner and Fitter IPC Uses Its Clout to Woo Clients from TV

Magazine article Marketing

Leaner and Fitter IPC Uses Its Clout to Woo Clients from TV

Article excerpt

IPC's six women's weeklies sold a total of 3.5 million copies a week over the past six months -- holding the company's share at 42% of the total market.

Despite worrying trends on Me and Chat and the continued high-profile competition from Bauer and Gruner and Jahr -- the German publishers of Bella, Take a Break and Best -- this means that IPC is still the dominant force in the marketplace.

IPC chief executive Mike Matthew says "After all the ups and downs of the late 80s and early 90s it's now a stable market. There won't be major launches into that sector in 1993-94. There has been a lot of money and marketing effort put into it and everybody is seeing how the market settles."

He admits that "1988 through to 1991 was a difficult time. We had a lot of cultural changes to make in IPC magazines. If you are trying to make an organisation aware of the marketplace it takes time. Now we're a very market focused group; we're very lean."

While the recession is manifestly to blame for sales declines there are two strategic developments of overwhelming importance. The first, sale or return has already been discussed though it is worth pointing out that the expense of SOR has restricted the weeklies marketing budget.

The second issue is the increasing emphasis IPC is putting on its clout. Ad director Rupert Miles who also handles IPC's two TV listings titles says: "We have to sell generically women's magazines' benefits. All our long-term investment is driven towards our ability to build cover. We have comfortably the largest ad volume in the market place."

The message to advertisers is intended to stress the use of magazines in conjunction with TV. Miles says that "where TV advertisers will test a media mix of TV and magazines we will fund the cost of research into effectiveness."

Miles claims he is already achieving some success with clients who have sworn blind they would never shift spend from TV. …

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