Magazine article Marketing

Why 'Paid-For' Figures Need a Second Glance

Magazine article Marketing

Why 'Paid-For' Figures Need a Second Glance

Article excerpt

The fact is that less than 60% of Hello's circulation was achieved at full cover price

A quick look at the leading titles in terms of overall circulation reveals the continued prominence of 'courtesy' magazines, with eight of the top ten slots still being occupied by titles from this category.

At least agencies know what they are buying in these magazines, but they remain wary of what they are actually getting in terms of some 'paid-for' titles.

The list of the top 50 mags based on total average net sales is a very different list to that made up of the top 50 based on only full-rate circulation. Even among this latter group, nearly 20% of total circulation is comprised of either free, lesser rate or overseas sales.

Sales forces looking to bump up rates based on overall circulation increases can expect their figures to be closely scrutinised.

OK! and Hello! stick out like sore thumbs in this regard. Rightly or wrongly, their ABC figures include the 'sample' copies sold at a penny as part of their joint promotions with the Sunday Express and The Mail on Sunday respectively.

The fact is that less than 60% of Hello!'s circulation was achieved at full cover price during this period, while less than 50% of OK!'s figure was sold at normal price. To be fair, Hello! is rumoured to have decided not to trade off its new figure, and it is to be hoped that Northern & Shell will do as it has done before in other contexts and follow suit.

Within individual market sectors, fortunes have been very mixed. …

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