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Magazine Ad Pages Down Five Percent in First Half

The year’s first half ad page numbers — courtesy of the MPA — are out, and once again, it’s not pretty. Total consumer ad pages dropped 4.9 percent compared to the first half of 2012, and total ad revenue increased by a tiny 0.4 percent.

Healthy ad categories included toiletries and cosmetics (revenue up seven percent, ad pages up three percent) and food and food products (revenue up 9.7 percent and pages up 4.9 percent) so it’s not surprising that magazines fetching those sort of ads did the best.

Prevention, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Vogue, GQ, Elle, Men’s Fitness, Saveur and HGTV Magazine all had double digit ad page growth. Meanwhile, some glossies saw double digit ad page drops, like Businessweek, Golf World, Forbes, The Economist and Essence.

Tablet ads showed a bit more promise, as iPad units — the only tablet the MPA tracks — jumped by 24.5 percent compared to the first half of last year.

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