'The Week' Willing to Prove Its Worth

Offers Ad Effectiveness Research to Almost All Its Advertisers

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Ever since the internet came along, advertisers have gotten used to seeing how many people are clicking on their ads in near real-time. Despite the pressure that put on old-line media to improve its slower and less exact proofs of return on investment, offering outside research to advertisers for every buy is far from the norm. Now The Week magazine is trying to take advantage of that tension by promising third-party ad-effectiveness research to any advertiser who buys at least three ad pages and customized research for anyone running at least six pages.
'The Week' has lost some momentum since its 2001 launch in the U.S. Its ad-measuring service may help attract new ad dollars.
'The Week' has lost some momentum since its 2001 launch in the U.S. Its ad-measuring service may help attract new ad dollars.

Crucial clients
Plenty of other titles provide varying degrees of research, but most often it is done for crucial clients or those with large integrated buys, said Eric Blankfein, senior VP-channel insights director, Horizon Media. "Even if you're a big advertiser, in a lot of cases research still isn't part and parcel," he said. "You certainly expect verification for a schedule. Ad recall is not something you would always expect."

Justin Smith, president of The Week, said offering research to just about everyone is a something his advertisers should love. "Marketers love putting money into the channels that work and less into the channels," he said. "We're not only tracking our engagement, reader demographics and psychographics but ad effectiveness. It's a bit of throwing down the gauntlet."

"A lot of big advertises have twisted the arms of media owners and said 'Do this for me if I throw down this money,' but I don't think anyone's baked it into the heart of the business model, which is our intention," he said.

Dangling a carrot
Mr. Blankfein called the offer appealing. "It's a least a carrot to get some advertising to come in."

The Week, which Dennis Publishing introduced to the U.S. in 2001, enjoyed meteoric growth in ad page sales in its early years but has lost some momentum as it matured. Ad pages were essentially flat last year, up 0.7% over 2005 with a total of 572.3, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Pages rose 8.6% in 2005 after jumping 25.5% in 2004.

The Week reported an average paid and verified circulation of 439,401 in the first half of 2006, the most recent figure available, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
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