PIB shows December gains, but year-to-date pages still down

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New York--Magazine ad pages fell 3% in 2002 compared with 2001, despite the biggest gain of the year in December, according to figures released Thursday by the Publishers Information Bureau.

Ad pages rose 11% last month compared with December 2001, following a 6.9% gain in November. Ad revenue for December was up 20% from a year earlier.

Ad revenue for all of 2002 increased 4%.

Eight of the top 12 advertising categories tracked by PIB showed ad gains in 2002, including drugs and remedies, up 11%, and automotive ads, up 4%. Still, technology advertising continues to struggle, down 17% last year, while financial, insurance and real estate ads fell 8%.

Business magazines are still getting hammered by the ad recession, but to varying degrees.

For example, ad pages for Business Week were down 10% in 2002, and ad pages for Fortune were 12%. Ad pages for Red Herring fell 66%.

--Matthew Schwartz

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