Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Investor's Business Daily Offers Advertising Guarantee

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Investor's Business Daily Offers Advertising Guarantee

Article excerpt

Upping the stakes, IBD seeks piece of Wall Street Journal business, while Financial Times advertises in the Journal, its erstwhile competitor

No. 2 is starting to take aim at No. 1. Investor's Business Daily, the nation's second-largest financial paper -- whose circulation advanced 6.6% to 251,000, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations numbers -- is rolling out its most ambitious advertising campaign, and in the cross hairs is the 1.7 million circulation New York behemoth, The Wall Street Journal.

Trumpeting its latest market research, the Los Angeles-based financial paper has bought full-page ads in The New York Times, USA Today, Advertising Age, and other national publications promising that ads in IBD will generate more customer traffic than ads in the Journal. The campaign will run through the end of the year, the company says.

The no-nonsense, black-and-white ad offers an "unconditional guarantee" that business advertisers "will receive at least 50% more inquiries with Investor's Business Daily, per dollar spent, than with The Wall Street Journal, or any national business magazine."

IBD founder and Chairman Bill O'Neil says the offer makes solid business sense. "We have grown and taken market share from the Journal every year," he says. "We have very specific numbers, so we know what we've been pulling for people. We know that we pull better. Period." If advertisers aren't happy, O'Neil says he'll keep running ads until they get the traffic they want.

IBD's rates are much lower than the Journal's, so on a dollar-for-dollar basis comparisons may be unfair. O'Neil says that's part of the paper's strategy: "We deliberately set our CPMs lower," he says, referring to cost per thousands of readers.

Founded in 1984 as an offshoot of O'Neil's investment analysis firm, which produces the paper's specialized financial data, IBD is also planning an image-building ad campaign it expects to roll out in December. O'Neil will not reveal the cost of the bulked-up advertising strategy, but he says he wants to attract new advertisers and moving the paper toward the goal of collecting 66% of total revenues from advertising is still below the newspaper average of 75% or 80%.

O'Neil intends for the advertising campaigns to shake up traditional media buyers. "An awful lot of advertisers just go in the-same old publications they've been going to for years, he says. IBD has put computer companies at the top of its prospects list. …

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