America’s magazine industry witnessed yet another fall in ad revenue in July, reports the Publishers Information Bureau, with year-on-year comparisons still distorted by last year’s dotcom-driven boom.

Total magazine sector ad revenue last month was $1.07 billion, down 7.9% on July 2000. Over the same period, ad pages tumbled 17% to 15,566.

Driving the decline was a 39% fall in tech spend (to $95.6m) and a 25% drop in revenue from financial services firms (to $62.2m). However, there were increases in ad dollars from the travel, direct-response and toiletries and cosmetics sectors, to $46.6m (+13%), $73.7m (+10%) and $91.3m (+26%) respectively.

July’s figures mean that adspend in the year so far has fallen 3.4% to around $9.1 billion, with ad pages falling 12% to 137,301.

Unsurprisingly, magazines dependent on ad revenue from tech firms are suffering particularly. Among the casualties are:

* Business Week, published by McGraw Hill. Ad revenue for July was down 42% year-on-year to $27.7m, with ad pages tumbling 48%. Advertising dollars for the year to date are down 30%.

* Business 2.0, recently acquired by AOL Time Warner [WAMN: 11-Apr-01]. July’s ad pages were down 92%, with revenue sinking 84.5% to $1.2m. In the year so far, ad income is down 44%.

* Red Herring Communications’ flagship magazine Red Herring. Ad dollars last month tumbled 70% to $2.6m, ad pages were down 77%, while revenue in the year to date has fallen 20%.

* Industry Standard, published by Standard Media. July’s revenue fell 79% (to $2.6m) and its ad pages 85%. Ad income so far in 2001 has dropped 62%.

However, some magazines are defying the slowdown – Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, owned by Newsweek, saw ad revenue leap 103% (to $1.6m) and ad pages 68% last month. In the year to date, its ad dollars are up 31%.

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