CONDE NAST UNITES BRIDAL TITLES ONLINE

Brides.com Follows Epicurious Model

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In an extension of its destination-site strategy, which calls for building Web properties like Epicurious.com around content and not individual magazines, Conde Nast Publications will soon unite the Web sites of its bridal magazines -- Brides, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride -- under the Brides.com address.

Different Web strategy
Conde Nast has brought a different strategy to its Web sites than competitors have brought to theirs. Most magazines have Web sites of their own, whether they are fully built-out or skimpy, but Conde Nast most often directs people looking for its magazines' sites to larger destination portals.

In the case of Brides.com, each magazine's brand will appear prominently, but the point is to establish a powerhouse weddings site that can marketed as such, said Susan Rerat, VP-managing director, Brides.com. Ms. Rerat had been senior VP-managing director at Epicurious.com, which combines Conde Nast food content and brands, and Concierge.com, which is fueled by Conde Nast Traveler. “It does have a lot of brand equity,” she said of Brides.com. The company plans to add new wedding-planning tools and local content to the consolidated site.

But like many online players these days, Conde Nast has decided that local content will be crucial to capturing the widest possible range of advertisers and readers. Its local print products in 16 markets -- Modern Bride Connection magazines with titles like Modern Bride Houston and Modern Bride Atlanta -- will be renamed Brides Houston, Brides Atlanta and so on. They then will become companions to the Web site, which will offer localization on-screen as well.

National and local online ad sales
“Obviously a lot of our local business buy both in print and online,” said Jennifer Cole, publisher, Brides.com and local print. “Also we’re moving towards that in the national online sales area as well.” Ms. Cole had been publisher of Epicuious.com and Concierge.com. Juile Raimondi is editor in chief of the local magazines; Ms. Raimondi, who joined Conde Nast last fall, had previously been executive editor of local magazines at The Knot, a much larger engagement-and-weddings site.

Aside from the Knot, there are seemingly countless large and small Web services for brides-to-be, including the Web site for Martha Stewart Weddings, WeddingSolutions.com and BlissWeddings.com.

Initial advertisers on the new Brides.com include Kohls, Target, Linens & Things and Target.

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