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CONDE NAST TRIO TO SHARE IN PACT FOR WATCH ADS;ADVERTORIALS ARE LATEST EXAMPLE OF FLORIO'S PUSH FOR CORP. DEALS

By Published on .

In its latest integrated marketing coup, three Conde Nast titles-GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue-each landed a six-page fashion advertorial from upscale watchmaker Tag Heuer USA for the crucial September issues now closing.

As part of the estimated $500,000 deal, Conde Nast Publications will produce the advertorial sections featuring top fashion designers Cynthia Rowley, Richard Tyler and others. Those designers will also appear at a kickoff party the marketer and the magazines will throw for Men's Fashion Week during the Council of Fashion Designers of America show July 23 in New York.

Wells Rich Greene, New York, is the watch marketer's agency.

Corporate marketing was ushered into Conde Nast shortly after President-CEO Steve Florio took over in early 1994.

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS

To succeed, the corporate group must try to break down barriers between Conde Nast titles, whose publishers often compete aggressively against one another for business. As recently as 10 days ago, Mr. Florio told his publishers to play fair with each other and focus more on competition "outside the building."

Corporate marketing efforts at Conde Nast may take on increased importance this year. Through May, Publishers Information Bureau reported the company's total ad pages slipped 3% from the same period a year ago to 7,349.

Last week's deal was the latest corporate effort cobbled together by Exec VP Jack Kliger and Senior VP Michael Clinton, who together oversee a 30-person sales force.

"We see the sales efforts as a way to chase incremental ad dollars through innovative programs," Mr. Kliger said.

Last year, the company boosted its ad tally by more than 1,000 ad pages, to 18,736.6, up 6.2%; Mr. Kliger estimates more than half that increase is due to the corporate sales effort.

By contrast, rival Hachette Filipacchi Magazines estimates that as much as 10% of its 17,201.7 ad pages last year came from corporate efforts.

"It took us five years to get it down to a science," said President-CEO David Pecker.

WHAT CONDE NAST CRITICS SAY

Critics say Conde Nast's "value-added deals" are simply a way to get around the publishing house's refusal to directly negotiate ad rates.

"We had to find a way to be more creative," Mr. Kliger acknowledged.

Over the past year, the corporate efforts have been bundling titles together in integrated marketing efforts that can tap into everything from a 12 million name corporate database to sites on the Internet.

In September issues, Conde Nast's Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Self and Allure-in a bid to obtain incremental business from the fragrance giant Estee Lauder Cos.-are printing and distributing 5 million sweepstakes entry forms that will be dispensed through point-of-purchase displays at retail outlets.

"It's designed to support and grow Estee Lauder's ad commitment to Conde Nast," said Mr. Clinton, who added that Estee Lauder is one of the company's top three advertisers.

The corporate team also recently pulled together the company's first-ever combination print and Internet ad deal. The package for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line began last month with a six-month commitment for a banner on CondeNet. Print ads also will appear this fall in Architectural Digest, GQ, Vanity Fair and Conde Nast Traveler. McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., is handling the ads.

"These aren't just multi-title ad buys," Mr. Kliger said. "Often we're going after marketing dollars that are coming out of the promotional budget."

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