New Dog, Old Tricks at Condé Nast

05 June 2007

NEW YORK: The world's print media are facing tough times in this first decade of the twenty-first century. Dwindling circulations and encroachment by online upstarts into their ad revenues have left the magazine oligarchs desperate to develop new revenue streams.

Hence an exciting new trend reported in Monday's New York Times: the creation of an inhouse 'advertising agency' at international publishing organization, Condé Nast - proprietors of such prestige titles as Vogue, Wired and The New Yorker.

Known as the Condé Nast Media Group the new entity, helmed by president Richard D Beckman, plans promotional events for Condé Nast's advertisers and creates ads on their behalf.

The service is offered at low rates - for free even, so long as the advertisers concerned are spending big bucks on advertising space in the firm's magazines.

According to The New York Times, other publishers are now emulating this imaginative and innovatory service. Which goes to prove that - in reversal of the old adage - you can teach an new dog old tricks!

Although it may come as a surprise to the New York Times' advertising and media correspondent, magazine publishers have been offering such services for decades.

However, the practice all but died-out in the nineties as ad agencies gained new muscle through mergers and acquisitions and asserted their sole rights to marketing creativity.

But as Gertrude Stein never said: "A good idea is a good idea is a good idea." And so it remains despite the fads and foibles of the passing parade.

Indeed, some media seers are whispering about a revolutionary new TV advertising concept, currently under the wraps.

It will be known as a 'thirty-second commercial'.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff