Rodale Taps Zemoga to Expand Digital Services for Advertisers

Maybe Magazines Don't Need to Buy Digital Agencies to Compete for Digital Business

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Despite recent moves by Meredith and Hearst, maybe magazine publishers don't need to buy digital agencies to ramp up digital services for advertisers. Rodale, the publisher of magazines including Men's Health and Prevention, has named Zemoga its digital agency of record, assigning it to help Rodale conceive and build digital campaigns for clients.

Rodale publishes Men's Health and Prevention, among other titles.
Rodale publishes Men's Health and Prevention, among other titles.
Magazines have been trying to expand the digital services they can offer their advertisers, which are less and less enamored of simple ad-page purchases. Meredith, publisher of magazines including Ladies' Home Journal and Family Circle, has bought agencies specializing in interactive media, social media and mobile, announcing in November that it remains "hungry" to grow further with similar acquisitions. Other publishers haven't matched Meredith's agency roll-up, but Hearst bought the digital agency iCrossing last summer and Time Inc. last month assigned an executive to pursue a "series of initiatives to expand Time Inc.'s capabilities in marketing services."

Rodale has worked with Zemoga on a project by project basis since 2008 but wants to ensure consistent, fast access to it services.

"For the last several years, our integrated sales teams have been successfully executing great ideas and campaigns, but this pairing will take our capabilities to the next level," said Mary Murcko, exec VP and group publisher at Rodale. "Our digital base has grown so significantly -- plus the industry is changing so quickly -- there's an understandable expectation from clients that we can deliver innovative, multiplatform campaigns based on what we've done in the past."

Conde Nast, which publishes magazines such as Vogue and GQ, handles the great majority of its digital services internally. Bonnier, publisher of titles including Field & Stream and Saveur, leans mostly on its internal teams but also has relationships with agencies such as Expand the Room, which has handled work on behalf of Bonnier clients.

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