Time Warner and Wal-Mart Launch Customer Magazine

04 August 2004

Hard sell is conspicuous by its absence when ad sales executives touting All You -- Wal-Mart's new customer magazine, published in conjunction with Time Warner -- knock on the doors of prospective advertisers and their agencies.

Indeed, ad buyers are laying out the welcome mat for the magazine's order-takers. For who among the mightiest of brands would decline an 'invitation' from Wal-Mart to advertise? The world's largest retailer moves more product tonnage in one day than a thousand forklifts in a year.

The issue for advertisers is less one of advertising logic; more a rare opportunity to obtain a marginal benefit from yet another donation of promotional dollars -- aka trade discounts.

Savvy ad buyers are realistic about the options: "[Our clients] sell big quantities at Wal-Mart," says Bonnie Barest, executive vice president and managing director of ZenithOptimedia in New York, adding cryptically: "We think that's a nice synergy for women who understand the sensibility."

On sale at the checkouts from August 13, All You eschews the whiskery $#.99 price ploy, pitching its cover price at $1.47 -- two cents lower than that of its principal rival, H Bauer's Woman's World. Wal-Mart's standard 10% magazine discount shaves another 15 cents from the Time Warner product to a cutthroat $1.32.

But there is one major difference from the usual run of store magazines. All You is also going for newsstand sales which, claims the magazine's publisher Diane Oshin, will eventually account for up to 80% of its circulation.

All You will launch with an ad rate base of 500,000.

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff