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'Ad Age's' multitasking Arden

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New publisher identifies brand opportunities In the 11 years she's been employed by Crain Communications Inc.'s Advertising Age, Allison Arden has held seven different jobs, along the way gathering experience in advertising, business development, custom media and interactive formats. The only facet on the business side she hadn't touched was events. But with her recent promotion to her seventh post, as publisher of Ad Age and Creativity, that too now falls under her purview. The mother of two and marathon-runner (she's training for her second New York Marathon) said the past year spent as associate publisher has prepared her for the task of keeping the organization ahead of the pack. “What I learned was our need to get out in front of things and start planning a lot earlier,” Arden said. “As just-in-time media planning became a reality, you get so caught up in the what's happening in the moment, you don't have as much time to do planning. “[Now] I get to plan for the future while my ad director deals with the moment.” While she has made a commitment to get out in the market every day and listen to the various constituencies, Arden already has identified several opportunities for the brand. Ad Age has increased its number of events from eight to 24 in the past two years, but Arden sees room for more growth across the board. For instance, a digital marketing conference in New York this month has been expanded to two days rather than one, providing attendees with more content and Ad Age with more sponsorship opportunities. Also, while most of the events currently take place in New York, Arden is open to the idea of adding others internationally as well as domestically. As for the various ti- tles, Ad Age will remain the umbrella brand. “Marketers still spend 40 minutes reading the print product,” Arden said. “You do have people say to me, "When I get to sit down and read my Ad Age, it becomes a relaxation.'” Ad Age's digital growth has enabled it to focus on several vertical markets, but she also wants to find new ways to use the print product. One way the company has accomplished this is publishing Ad Age Annual, the year-end compendium of data on marketers, media and agencies. Arden is also planning significant investments in the other products. “Madison+Vine” is being retooled to cover not just marketing through entertainment but also marketing of entertainment. The e-newsletter will be relaunched later this year. Creativity will also be relaunched, with the May issue, using much heavier paper stock and a smaller, 10-by-12-inch format to better showcase the work. The moves are not intended as a cost savings but rather to make Creativity more of a luxury title, Arden said. Crain Communications also publishes Media Business. M
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