The Player: Scott looks to boost profile of Bauer in ad community

By Published on .

Most Popular
Ian Scott's is hardly the most common move in the world of magazine publishing. He gave up a post as executive director of Conde Nast Publications' Teen Vogue, which he helped launch, to take the newly created post of president-CEO of The Magazine Consultancy. That company is the exclusive sales and marketing rep for Bauer Publishing, publisher of low-priced supermarket-checkout staples such as First for Women, Woman's World and its latest launch and highest-profile property, In Touch.

But Mr. Scott makes it sound like his old digs will hardly be missed.

"You don't often get to run your own business in the publishing world," said Mr. Scott, a 41-year-old who hails from Edinburgh, Scotland. "The buck stops with you. At a bigger company, there's always other people."

Though he spent five years at Conde Nast-previously working with Teen Vogue Publisher Gina Sanders at Gourmet-Bauer's world won't be entirely unfamiliar to Mr. Scott. He spent time at the Magazine Consultancy's parent company in the U.K. But his mandate is different now.

"We sell 185 million copies at newsstand every year in the U.S.," Mr. Scott said about Bauer, which he said made it the largest single-copy seller behind industry behemoth Time Inc. "But people don't really know about us. I am getting involved to raise the profile of Bauer" especially within the ad community.

Mr. Scott said he would initially focus efforts on In Touch, a low-cost but canny knock-off of celebrity titles like Time Inc.'s People and Wenner Media's Us Weekly. "In Touch is the one with the greatest potential and media attention at the moment," he said. In Touch is dipping a toe into broader branding activities, as it's kicking off "The In Touch Weekly Awards" with an event at New York nightclub Deep on Nov. 13.

Hubert Boehle, Bauer's President, said, "We should be able to capture a larger share of ad dollars. That will be Ian's job."

Bauer's model is decidedly European, stressing newsstand sales above other revenue streams, and the titles display a downsized advertiser presence. Even with a renewed effort against In Touch, Mr. Scott notes the title would maintain an edit-to-ad page ratio of around 80/20-a ratio that would likely leave executives at People aghast.

in shouting distance of `us'

Mr. Scott's job also includes increasing sales of In Touch, which, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation numbers, sells 420,000 copies per week on the newsstand. This puts it within shouting distance of Us Weekly's 506,000 the first time it reported circulation figures. And, as Mr. Boehle noted, Bauer is increasing the number of checkout pockets for In Touch to 130,000 from 100,000 by the end of '03.

Media buyers, however, cite Bauer's fewer ad sales people and overall model as a stumbling block to success.

"The fact there are not as many ad pages in In Touch as some other magazines [may mean] people draw conclusions or think that it is not viable, without realizing it's in fact part of the overall strategy of the company," said George Janson, director of print, Mediaedge:cia, New York.

Fast Facts

Name: Ian Scott

Age: 41

Now: President-CEO, The Magazine Consultancy

Challenge: To raise Bauer Publishing's U.S. profile

In this article: