Reader's Digest revamps Brazilian edition, launches web site

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The Reader's Digest Association Inc is relaunching its Brazilian-language edition of Selecoes do Reader's Digest in a drive to build its subscription to one million households over the next five years.

The boost to the 55-year-old magazine comes at the same time as Reader's Digest Brasil Ltda sets up a Web site and begins publishing other Brazilian-language books, plus video and music products.

The moves are part of the $3.1bn global publisher and direct marketer's strategy to become "a major force in Brazil's publishing industry within record time," says William H. Willis, president of Reader's Digest Pacific. "Of Brazil's 20 million households, we project that we will reach over one million of them or 5% in the next five years."

Selecoes do Reader's Digest's circulation has grown from 50,000 to 350,000 just in the past year, as a result of a direct marketing push that took the magazine beyond its previous sole distribution channel of newsstands, the company claims. It is now the country's No 5 publication, up from No 44.

Willis says the new developments for Brazil are consistent with the corporate aim to grow Reader's Digest business by expanding into new and growing markets and seeking out new means of distribution.

"We've had enormous success in markets around the world by bringing customers into our franchise through the magazine and retaining them by selling them the full line of our top quality books, videos, music and other media products," says Willis. "That strategy now looks like it will pay enormous dividends here in Brazil."

The Reader's Digest Association, based in Pleasantville, New York, has 21 international operating subsidiaries.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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