Magazine Ad Pages Grow Just 1% in First Quarter

But Industry Sees 7% Bump in Revenue

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NEW YORK ( -- Magazine ad pages in the first quarter of 2007 came in only 1% higher than in the slow kickoff quarter last year, according to new statistics from the Publishers Information Bureau.
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Family Circle, which saw ad pages up 30%, was a big winner during the first quarter. Golf Magazine didn't fare as well -- it was down 20%.

See data:
Magazine ad pages leaders, January to March, 2007

Estimated revenue, it should be noted, grew 6.9% over first-quarter 2006, according to the bureau. And even measured by ad pages, certain ad categories outperformed the average by a long shot. Ads for drugs and remedies, for example, consumed 13.7% more ad pages than they did last year, while retail grew 9.2% and food and food products expanded 7.3%.

Six major categories decline
But those gains were offset by declines in six of the 12 big ad categories tracked by the bureau, including home furnishings and supplies, which fell 15.5%, and financial, insurance and real estate, which dropped 10.8%.

Among the magazines, big winners included Dennis Publishing's Blender, where ad pages grew 35.6%; Meredith Corp.'s Family Circle, up 30.3%; National Geographic Traveler, up 34%; Time Inc.'s Real Simple, up 32%; and Sound & Vision, part of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., up 33.6%.

The news was worse for magazines including the Advocate, which saw ad pages decline 40.9%; Golf Magazine from Time Inc., down 20%; Guideposts, off 25.2%; Time Inc.'s Money, down 33.2%; Nickelodeon, down 40.3%; and PC Magazine, from Ziff Davis Publishing, down 38.8%.

The Publishers Information Bureau also said it is discontinuing monthly reports in favor of a quarterly model; the next numbers from them will arrive in July.
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