MAGAZINE AD PAGES TAKE 3.8% LEAP IN FIRST QUARTER: BROKERS INCREASE THEIR BUYS, WITH 69% GROWTH SEEN BY PIB

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Despite continued ad page declines from direct-response advertisers, consumer magazines enjoyed a 3.8% jump, to 50,095.7 pages, during the first quarter of 1997, according to data from Publishers Information Bureau for the quarter ended March 31.

The drugs and remedies and business services categories accounted for more than 1,300 new pages of that growth.

DRUGS/REMEDIES UP 33.8%

Drug and remedy marketers increased their ad pages this year to 2,547.9, up 33.8% for the quarter, while business and consumer services advertisers increased ad pages to 4,678.59, or 18.1%

Among drug/remedy advertisers, prescription medicine advertisers increased their print buy by 81% to 1,431 pages, up from 790 pages during the first quarter last year.

A Magazine Publishers of America spokeswoman said that in the business/consumer services category, brokerage firms made dramatic increases in their magazine schedules, as opposed to mutual funds, typically a strong ad classification in the category. "Brokers accounted for most of that growth, with a 69% increase in ad pages," to 660.6 pages in 1997, she said.

One effect of first-quarter growth on magazines has been increases for many of the consumer business titles, with Forbes up 21.7% to 862.89 pages; McGraw-Hill Cos.' Business Week up 13% to 813.71 pages; and Time Inc.'s Fortune up 20.5% to 627.46 pages.

Direct response pages were down 2.8% to 5,695.8 and travel also fell, dropping 2% to 3.236 pages.

FASHION STRENGTH

In other categories, fashion magazines continued to post strong page growth during the quarter, a trend continuing from 1996.

One women's magazine that saw growth in its fashion pages was Hearst Magazines' Cosmopolitan.

Under new editorial leadership effective with the March issue from Editor in Chief Bonnie Fuller, Cosmo saw first-quarter ad pages grow to 481.88, up 29.7% from the same quarter in '96.

"It's coming really from fashion and beauty advertisers, and also pharmaceuticals," said Cosmopolitan Senior VP-Publisher Donna Kalajian.

Also on a growth curve with first-quarter advertising are Conde Nast Magazines' Vogue, up 7.8% to 587.72 pages; Glamour up 24.8% to 385.56 pages; and Allure up 31% to 312.12 pages.

Rival titles in the category also grew. Hachette Filipacchi Magazines' Elle jumped 21% to 473.66 pages and Fairchild Publishing's W was up 30.4% to 408.75 pages.

New Cosmo advertisers during the quarter were fashion brands B.C.B.G., Nicole Miller and Isaac Mizrahi and, in fragrances, Tommy Hilfiger's fragrance

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