NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- When a magazine increases ad pages in an environment brutal enough to tear almost everyone else down, it's easy to suspect that the magazine is discounting its publicly quoted ad rates to the point of absurdity.
That is not what's happening at Family Circle, insists Meredith Corp., the company that has owned the title since 2005.
|A refreshing rethinking of a brand can not only make it relevant again, but exactly right for readers and marketers.|
|EDITOR IN CHIEF:|
"I understand your question totally," said Andy Sareyan, chief brand officer at Meredith's National Media Group, where he oversees titles including Family Circle. "It is confounding. This one magazine stands out beautifully, not just from a paging standpoint but from a revenue standpoint."
But Family Circle happened to occupy a relatively sweet spot as the recession brought fear to consumers and marketers alike. "It really resonated at a time when people were focusing on home, family and the things that were important to them, not luxury and things that cost a lot of money," Mr. Sareyan said. As a result, September 2009 was the scene of vast wreckage for many high-end fashion magazines, but Family Circle's September issue this year was its biggest issue yet.
Family Circle's publisher since May 2008, Carey Witmer, and her team have expanded ad categories that might seem endemic, such as household supplies or clothing, but also some less obvious categories, like entertainment and consumer electronics. New advertisers include Ikea, Microsoft, Chase and Sprint. Meredith promoted Ms. Witmer to VP this month.
|2.||Better Homes & Gardens|
And don't forget the benefits of working within Meredith, whose portfolio of titles attract a very large group of consumers -- an inviting target for major advertisers.
More pieces are coming. Family Circle plans to introduce a social networking site called Momster late this fall. Next year the magazine plans to introduce the Family Circle of Excellence, a program in which Family Circle editors and a reader panel will rate products' quality and award their favorites.