The "Power of Print" program will give up one page a week, worth $24,000, for as long as a year for ads created by Canadian agencies to support an issue, cause or charity.
The "Power of Print" ads can't promote specific products or services. A column-under the "Power of Print" banner-will run on the page across from the ad, highlighting the agency creative team and offering a further call to action for readers.
The goal of Time Canada President Don Brown is "to raise the consciousness" about print advertising in Canada, where magazines account for about 7% of total ad spending, vs. 13% in the U.S., according to Advertising Age International data.
"Magazines in Canada need to be stimulated," said Mr. Brown, who cited the "significantly higher" profile that other media enjoy among Canadian marketers. "There's a lack of attention on what magazines can do. The magazine spend level is pretty dismal."
Media executive Maureen Beston conceded "there's a real problem getting print on [media] plans" of many marketers, who typically favor TV for major campaigns.
But she suggested reader tastes-not lack of agency awareness-may prompt marketers to be wary of advertising in Canadian magazines.
PERCEIVED U.S. PREFERENCE
In planning sessions, "there was a general perception that if you wanted to reach 18 to 49, they weren't that well-served by Canadian titles," said Ms. Beston, VP-media director at Omnicom Group media-buying agency OMD Canada, Vancouver. "The thought was that they're going to read the U.S. magazines."
That's a touchy issue in Canada, which recently resolved a long-running trade dispute with the U.S. over so-called "split-run" editions of U.S.-owned magazines that lure Canadian advertisers (AA, May 31).
The "Power of Print" concept itself is a U.S. export. Time's only other "Power of Print" program ran nationally in the U.S. in 1969, when ads highlighted causes such as racial harmony, self-censorship and a call for donations to build a park in Harlem.
Time Canada's Mr. Brown bristled at the suggestion that "Power of Print" might be a way for Time to build market share among advertisers in the wake of the settlement over split-run editions.
"To make any sort of linkage with that is absolutely, positively erroneous," he said. "This [program] doesn't have a selfish motive. This is doing an industry service."
Time's Canadian edition, which reaches about 2 million readers, is "very healthy," Mr. Brown said without going into details.
Toronto boutique Concept 3 had the first "Power of Print" ad, appearing in the issue dated July 12. The agency's page seeks to raise money for Cinnamon Toast, a charity working to establish a shelter for homeless women.
"I think the initiative is terrific," said Concept 3 partner Linda Rosier. "This offers a tremendous opportunity. Hopefully, other agencies will see it with the