Mother Approved: Cookie Launches Participation Program

Monthly Will Feature Products Chosen By Real Moms in Print, Online

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Conde Nast's Cookie magazine has introduced a seal-of-approval program tapping the voices of readers instead of editors to recommend marketers' products. In the "Word of Mom" program, as the magazine has dubbed it, reader votes will determine honorees in categories like cars, technology, fashion, baby gear and travel.
The new 'Word of Mom' program allows the Cookie brand to engage with busy moms.
The new 'Word of Mom' program allows the Cookie brand to engage with busy moms.

Part of the idea is to engage busy moms with the Cookie brand -- which is just over two years old -- amid competition from better-established titles for parents like American Baby, Parenting and, well, Parents.

'Trusted networks'
"Women in general tend to recommend favorite brands to their peer group, but once they become a mom that number grows exponentially higher," said Carolyn Kremins, VP-publisher at Cookie. "Because they're so time-starved and because they don't have the time to read multiple magazines any more, basically they rely on their trusted networks for shortcuts."

But magazine publishers and other media sellers have also been striving to make the most of their direct relationships with consumers -- relationships which marketers and agencies can rarely match. Cookie's "Word of Mom" fits into that trend; readers' selected products will be touted in the magazine, on its site and at a December event. Marketers on the list, moreover, will get the option of using a "Word of Mom" seal in their advertising and packaging.

The seal will lend marketers new credibility and trust, said Gina LaRossa, director-marketing for Primigi USA, a kids' shoes brand that advertises in Cookie. "You can advertise all you want, but until you get the confidence of your audience, really it doesn't work," she said.
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