Nickel-and-Diming? More Magazines to Charge for Hotlinks in Tablet Edition Ads

$1,500 Fee Reflects the Production Process, Meredith Says

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Another magazine company has decided to charge advertisers for something as small as a working hotlink in a tablet edition.

Each functional link in tablet versions of Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness and Parents will soon cost $1,500, according to Meredith Corp., which publishes the magazines.

Media buyers last year said Conde Nast was nickel-and-diming them by charging $5,000 to activate each web address from print ads going into tablet editions. Meredith 's fee is smaller -- more of a nickel than a dime in buyers' complaint -- but is still meeting skepticism.

It has "about as much merit as a bleed charge," one buyer said, referring to the publishers' fading practice of charging extra for ads that run to the edge of the page.

"Most clients have been taking a wait-and-see attitude with the tablet, waiting for scale and more metrics," the buyer added. "There seems to still be a lack of both. This is not going to win them any friends."

The fee comes as Meredith plans to start running every ad from print in its tablet editions as well. Until now it has sold ads in the tablet editions separately.

Meredith said the $1,500 fee reflects the production process.

"Meredith has made a significant investment in our Enhanced for Tablet editions, providing consumers with expanded content, interactive features and a dynamic user experience," a spokesman said in a statement. "This fall, print advertisers will now be offered an opportunity to appear in the EFT editions of Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Fitness at no cost. If an advertiser's creative includes a URL and it is their preference to make that link 'live,' there will be a $1,500 production charge. This cost is a minimal production fee associated with the current production process it takes to enhance an advertiser's creative."

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