Make Magazine Ads 'Faster, Cheaper', Pleads MPA Chair

21 December 2005

Jack Kliger, the new chairman of Magazine Publishers of America (day job, president/ceo of Hachette Filipacchi Media US) is dedicated to a vision: "To create systems that make it faster and cheaper to place advertising in magazines."

Addressing a New York breakfast meeting hosted by the MPA, Kliger told attendees: "It is much more cumbersome and costly for advertisers to do business with magazines than to advertise in other media. It is much more efficient and profitable for advertising agencies to deploy budgets in electronic media than in magazines."

"Technology gives us an opportunity to create systems that make it faster and cheaper to place advertising in magazines. Many publishing executives' eyes glaze over when we talk about this subject. That is a major mistake."

Compared to TV and the internet, the process of advertising in magazines is antediluvian. Physical paperwork is required to reserve space, send creative work, confirm that it arrived, prove that it ran and pay the bill.

Kliger has no illusion it will be easy to persuade eyeballing magazine competitors to cooperate in a unified project. "To ever get [Time Inc's] Golf and [Conde Nast's] Golf Digest to be represented by a single effort unless there's single ownership would be very difficult," he conceded.

"[But] I'm not talking about selling as a united network … this all takes place once the sales decisions have been made and then it's all the process of ordering, placing and paying for the advertising. We should be able to do it in a much more efficient and profitable manner for all parties involved."

A unified process is currently under development by the nonprofit IDEAlliance, an association of media, information, printing, production and other companies. Despite ongoing battles with reactionaries, it is making progress, according to Kliger. "I'm very interested in pushing this further up the agenda at the [magazine] industry level."

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff