Magazines Still Push Programs Off the Page

Even If Publishers Are Heading for the Exits

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NEW YORK ( -- Magazines are still in the thick of the crisis that's led them to lay off thousands, shut down titles and cancel big advertiser programs. But the industry imperatives that existed before the financial meltdown -- like finding new ways to reach consumers -- probably matter even more now.

So despite the industry's troubles, Rodale's Best Life is going ahead and taking over a Delta lounge at New York's JFK airport, while Time Inc.'s Cooking Light supplies recipes and its brand to the room-service menu at the New York Palace Hotel.

Best Life takes over a Delta lounge.
Best Life takes over a Delta lounge.
No matter what happens in the economy, people will still get stuck at airports, said Michael Wolfe, publisher at Best Life. "It's an incredible time-consumer and quite frankly not the most pleasant experience," he said. "We said okay, if our audience who is so busy and is always under time pressures, if all of a sudden their time stops while they're in the airport, let's try to become an asset to that process. Let's market to it."

Making time fly
Starting Nov. 24, then, the Delta Crown Room in Terminal 2 will host the Best Life Experience, where travelers will be offered product samples, a wine bar, driving simulators and other amenities. The chief sponsors are Mercedes-Benz, Tommy Bahama, Kendall-Jackson and Clarins. Best Life has sold some 20 ad pages in conjunction with the program.

There's no advertiser involvement, on the other hand, with Cooking Light's healthy-dining pages in the room-service menus at the Palace. "It's a brand extension," said Chris Allen, the publisher of Cooking Light, in a recent interview. "You're going to expose a very, very well-heeled clientele to our highly tested kitchen recipes that are better for you."

All that said, it's difficult to look away from the magazine industry's tumult for long. After Ad Age spoke with Mr. Allen, Time Inc. said he is leaving the company as part of the reorganization brought on by the crisis.
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