Aveda pressures mags to go green

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Aveda is using its marketing muscle to get print-media partners to switch to recycled paper and is now tapping other environmentally minded companies to do the same.

The earth-friendly Estee Lauder hair and cosmetics unit has recently made it a requirement for the roster of magazines in which it places its most environment-themed ads to be printed on paper that includes a minimum of 10%-post-consumer recycled paper. So far, the decision has prompted first-time advertising for Aveda in American Media's Natural Health as a result of its switch to post-consumer-recycled paper and a recent three-month hiatus from advertising in Yoga Journal when that title briefly stopped using recycled paper.

Now, Aveda has brought together a group of five similarly "green" marketers, including yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm, coffee maker Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, apparel marketers Patagonia and Timberland and household-products company Seventh Generation to help in its mission to drive the use of recycled paper among magazines.

"Internally, there are a large number of environmental efforts under way and we looked for a way from an advertising standpoint of how to be more environmental," says Rachael Ostrom, media planning director for Aveda, which last year spent roughly $8 million in print advertising.

`affinity' partners

Ostrum developed the idea of requiring its "affinity" media partners that Aveda uses to target its most environmentally conscious consumers-among them Mother Jones, Organic Style and Yoga Journal-to use recycled paper. In partnership with Aveda, Natural Health began in earnest to search for a paper that "was environmentally friendly but also of a quality that all advertisers would accept," said Diane Newman, senior VP-group publisher of American Media's Active Lifestyle Group, which includes Natural Health, andShape.

Natural Health found an overseas mill that produced a roughly 40% post-consumer recycled paper it was happy with and, as a result, Aveda started advertising in the title's April issue. Shape-part of Aveda's core fashion/beauty print buy-has also begun to use that paper for 20% of its circulation, and Ms. Newman said American Media is looking at switching for other titles as well.

no complaints

The company has heard no complaints from advertisers (or readers) despite problems cited in the past with recycled-paper quality. Ms. Newman also noted that American Media will take down the width of Natural Health magazine almost 2 inches as of its February issue "saving hundreds of thousands of trees," a fact it plans to talk about widely.

As for Yoga Journal, the company had been printing on 10%-post-consumer-recycled paper, but Aveda discovered in July that they had gone back to virgin paper and immediately cut advertising, Ms. Ostrum said. As of its November issue, Yoga Journal is back using post-consumer recycled paper and Aveda is back as an advertiser. "Part of the reason they initiated that change was us, but they realized it was something their readers cared about as well," Ms. Ostrum said. Yoga Journal's publisher did not return calls by press time.

Just in the last month, Aveda brought together the five other companies to partner in its zealous mission. While those companies have not put as stringent standards in place that require media partners to use recycled paper or else, they have put their names on an educational toolkit Aveda has developed for its own and others' request-for-proposals process. And they have agreed to consider whether a magazine uses recycled paper when making an ad-buying decision.

"If two magazines both meet our demographics and are the same price and one is using recycled paper, that would probably sway our decision," said Cathleen Toomey, VP-communications, Stonyfield Farm.

Read more Aveda news, P. 20

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