Avon Finds Magazines Work for Young-Skewing Brand

Study Finds People More Likely to Pay Attention to Print Ads

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Avon introduced its young-skewing Mark brand six years ago with a heavy focus on print advertising. Then it brought online into the mix. Avon wondered recently whether it should still market Mark in print at all.

The study confirmed that the web is clearly better for fast, customized information, but people still tend to trust print more.
The study confirmed that the web is clearly better for fast, customized information, but people still tend to trust print more.
But happily for print publishers, a study designed to answer that question actually reinforced Avon's commitment to print. "This study helped show it wasn't about one or the other but following your target audience," said Maria Givens, senior manager for global media at Avon, in a presentation Tuesday during the annual Re:Think convention presented by the Advertising Research Foundation.

People are much more likely to pay attention to magazine ads than online ads, said David Shiffman, senior VP-connections research at MediaVest, which conducted the study. "Magazine advertising is a key part of the magazine experience."

The study, which relied in part on an online survey of 1,500 people 18 to 34 years old, also demonstrated that people's expectations and goals in each medium depend on the subject.

Some 55% of respondents said they use magazines at least once a week to stay up-to-date on entertainment and celebrity news, for example, while only 37% said they use the web for the same purpose. And 41% said they check magazines at least once a week for fashion and beauty news, compared with just 20% who said they use the web.

The web is clearly better when people want fast, customized information, the MediaVest study confirmed. But people still tend to trust print more.

"Print is still the No. 1 source, the trusted source, for beauty and fashion," Ms. Givens said. "It would be a true loss for the brand strategy if we did give up on print."

Magazines are not, however, answering consumers' wishes on the internet just yet, according to the study. Fully 70% of respondents strongly agreed that health and wellness magazines should offer something "new and different" on the web than they run in the print edition, the study found. But only 53% said health and wellness titles actually do so. Some 47% want food and cooking magazines to offer something different online, but only 38% said they do.

It's important for many magazines to ask, "How do you close that gap?" Mr. Shiffman said.

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