Harpers Bazaar Hedges Bets with Digest-Size Edition

06 November 2000

“Magazines are so big now it is getting difficult to carry them around," opines Katherine Betts, editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar. Hence Hearst Magazines’ decision to shrink 100,000 copies of its phone directory-size fashion tome to digest format.

From next March and at six-monthly intervals thereafter, both versions will be on sale side by side at airports, high-end newsstands and Barnes & Noble bookstores. Advertising-wise and editorially the micro-Harpers will be identical with its big sister.

Copies of the digest-size sibling are additional to Harpers’ normal print-run and advertisers pay nothing more for the extra exposure. The idea comes from Australia where advertisers and agencies have flocked to take advantage of the concept.

But you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Not least Alan Jurmain, executive vice president and managing director of media services at Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide.

Denying that the digest-size freebie influenced his decision to take ad space in the standard March issue, Jurmain pontificated: “I just do not know if – unless there is a discounted price – that consumers will pay full price for it," he said. "The notion that this solves a dire need for the consumer just does not click yet."

News source: New York Times