HEARST, AMEX FORM UNUSUAL UNION: PUBLISHERS PITCH SECTION TO SELLERS OF LUXURY GOODS

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Two publishing companies are putting aside their usually cutthroat competitive natures in favor of good will, cooperation-and the chance to grab some extra revenue.

Hearst Magazines is teaming with American Express Publishing Corp. to jointly sell a special advertising section to luxury-goods marketers. The section, "Quintessentials 2000," will appear in December issues of Hearst's Harper's Bazaar and House Beautiful, and American Express' Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure.

The union is particularly unusual because American Express' magazines are managed by Time Inc., whose In Style and This Old House are peripheral competitors to the Hearst titles.

The joint marketing idea grew out of an initiative to target affluent consumers, said Michael Clinton, Hearst senior VP-chief marketing officer. In hopes of reaching as many wealthy consumers as possible, Mr. Clinton approached American Express with the idea to combine resources.

"We have a fashion and shelter title and they have travel and entertaining, and those are all lifestyle targets that attract a similar demographic," Mr. Clinton said.

The section will only run in subscriber copies of the four titles and reach about 3 million households. The holiday guide will feature advice on the places, products and experiences that will be must-haves in the year 2000 from an expert in each field: travel, fashion, entertaining and home design.

EXPANDING BUSINESS

While some of the titles might compete for the same advertisers during the rest of the year, the two companies view this as a way to expand business they might not get on their own, said Julie McGowan, publisher of Food & Wine.

Rather than having four sales staffs sell one section, the companies hired Elinore Carmody, former publisher of George and now an independent ad sales consultant, to oversee the project.

DUAL MARKETING ROLE

"It's kind of like being the head of Switzerland," Ms. Carmody said. "My job really will be to marry the marketing resources of the two companies."

The cost of a color page ad is $145,000. Each publisher agreed to a list of prospective advertisers and provided those leads to Ms. Carmody, who will start selling in the next two weeks.

"It's very progressive," said Melissa Pordy, senior VP-director of print for Zenith Media, which represents clients such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Allied Domecq Spirits and Delta Air Lines. "They're finding new ways to help brand their advertisers across similar titles that have a similar appeal. And everyone is looking for lower out-of-pocket costs to reach these consumers, so I think

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