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Magazine Ad Revenue Down 21.2 Percent In First Half Of 2009

The Publishers Information Bureau just released its advertising revenue numbers for the first half of 2009, and it’s not pretty. Rate-card-reported ad revenue totaled nearly $9.1 billion, down 21.2 percent from the same period last year. Ad pages were also down 27.9 percent, and the impact of the recession was felt across all top 12 ad categories, PIB said.

However, the first quarter of 2009 suffered a bigger decline (29.5 percent) in ad revenues than the second quarter, which posted a 22 percent drop. It’s unclear whether this means the revenue is starting to recover.

There are some bright spots, however, including ads for culinary ingredients and seasonings, confectionery and snacks, hair products, hair accessories, men’s hygienic products, soaps, cleaners, polishes and telecom, PIB said.

“Marketers remain extremely cautious in this challenging economic environment, which is reflected in the latest magazine advertising PIB data,” Ellen Oppenheim, Magazine Publishers of America’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Sectors most severely affected by the downturn — automotive, finance and retail — show the greatest declines in ad revenue and paging during the first half.”

Full release after the jump


Recession Continues to Impact Magazine Advertising in First Half

New York, NY (July 10, 2009) — Total magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue for the first half of 2009 closed at $9,095,979,740, posting a -21.2% decline against the previous year, according to Publishers Information Bureau (PIB). Ad pages during the first half totaled 79,245.30, at -27.9% compared to January through June, 2008. Total PIB revenue for the second quarter of 2009 closed at $4,905,073,446, posting a 22% decline against the same period in 2008, according to Publishers Information Bureau (PIB). Ad pages during the first quarter totaled 41,854.95, at -29.5% compared to April through June, 2008.

The recession’s broad impact on advertising was seen across the top 12 magazine ad categories in the first half, as well as during the second quarter, of 2009. (Twelve categories are the most significant contributors to PIB revenue, comprising more than 85% of total advertising spending.) A few of bright spots within the larger categories include increased ad spend for culinary ingredients and seasonings as well as for confectionery and snacks within Food & Food Products; for hair products, hair accessories and men’s hygienic products within Toiletries & Cosmetics; for soaps, cleansers and polishes within Home Furnishings & Supplies; and for telecom within Technology.

“Marketers remain extremely cautious in this challenging economic environment, which is reflected in the latest magazine advertising PIB data,” said Ellen Oppenheim, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Magazine Publishers of America. “Sectors most severely affected by the downturn — automotive, finance and retail — show the greatest declines in ad revenue and paging during the first half.”

Ms. Oppenheim added, “Some ad sub-categories showed growth, including food seasonings and ingredients, household cleaning products, and hair and hygiene products, which contributed to first half ad gains for a number of titles with a focus on nesting, fitness and celebrities.”

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