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PIB figures paint bleak picture of magazine ad pages

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New York—Consumer magazine advertising pages plunged 25.6% last year compared with 2008, according to Publishers Information Bureau data released Tuesday.

Ad pages for 2009 totaled 169,217.76. The fourth quarter showed that the decline in ad pages was decelerating slightly, as pages fell 21.6% in that period compared with the fourth quarter of 2008.

Business magazines concluded a dismal year. Fortune posted the largest percentage drop in ad pages in the category, with a plunge of 36.0%. BusinessWeek (-33.8%), Fast Company (-30.9%), Forbes (-30.2%), Barron’s (-27.8%) and Harvard Business Review (-26.6%) all posted steeper declines than the average consumer magazine.

Magazines aimed at small businesses performed marginally better. Entrepreneur’s ad pages fell 18.3%, while Inc.’s were off 24.2%.

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