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Year ends on positive note for magazines

Total magazine rate card-reported ad revenue increased 9.7% year-over-year in December to $2.2 billion, while ad pages rose 3.4%, according to a report by the Magazine Publishers of America. For the full year, revenue rose 7.2% to $23.0 billion, while ad pages gained just a half percent, according to the MPA's Publishers Information Bureau. Ten major ad categories saw increased revenue and ad pages in December, with double-digit increases in drugs & remedies (25%) and media & advertising (15%). Technology advertising, which has been generally sluggish the last two years, was up 7%.

Yahoo!, MMA offer measurement service

Yahoo! announced it has partnered with Marketing Management Analytics to launch a service to help marketers measure the offline sales impact of online marketing efforts. MMA will work with Yahoo! to build an ROI assessment model. It will include Yahoo! data showing users' exposure to online display and search advertising. Under the program, marketers can also give MMA data from other sources, including direct marketing campaigns and Web sites, to get a broader view of their total marketing programs.

Visa USA unveils new brand identity

Visa USA unveiled a new logo and card design to better reflect the broad range of electronic payments offered by its member financial institutions. The new logo features Visa's standard blue, white and gold colors, italicized type style and new graphic elements. It will be used in all new materials, including Visa payment cards, merchant decals, marketing materials and stadium signage. Visa also introduced changes to its card design, including moving the dove hologram to the back of the card and printing the three-digit security code next to the signature panel to make it easier for consumers and merchants to read.

ABM kicks off yearlong centennial celebration

American Business Media officially kicked off its yearlong centennial celebration last Thursday in New York with a pledge to help its members address myriad challenges, from monetizing rich data and developing vertical search tools to entering overseas markets. "This is an organization in transition," said Hugh Roome, president of Scholastic International and 2005-2006 chairman of the ABM. "We're dealing with the potency of digital media, search will be a terribly important tool in the future, and government affairs and the effects of postal rates will be critical functions." A particular area of emphasis for the ABM will be overseas expansion by its members. The organization will sponsor trips to Brazil in March and to China in October, and a similar fact-finding mission to India is tentatively planned for early 2007.

Draft picks Boschetto as president-COO

Marketing services agency Draft announced that Laurence Boschetto has been promoted to president-COO, overseeing global operations. Howard Draft, the agency's chairman-CEO, said Boschetto is his "chosen long-term successor." Boschetto, who joined the company in 2002, was previously president of Draft New York. Also, Wendy Lurrie was promoted to general manager of Draft New York, from exec VP-director of business development at Draft New York.

Media M&A market jumped 13% in '05

M&A activity surged across the media and information industries in 2005, reaching levels not seen since 2000, according to a report by media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group. There were 525 deals in 2005, a 13% increase from 2004. The total value of the deals increased 87% to $56 billion. All 11 sectors tracked by Jordan, Edmiston-including b-to-b magazines, exhibitions & conferences, database information services and online media-had a busy year, extending the torrid M&A pace that started in 2004.

Staples Marketing buys McClinchey & Assoc.

Staples Marketing Communications has acquired McClinchey & Associates, a marketing communications agency. The newly merged agency offers advertising, PR, direct marketing and interactive. It is led by President Jim Staples.

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