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THE FIRST HALF BLUES: The Publishers Information Bureau reported first half advertising and paging figures on Friday and, as expected, both categories are down significantly. Total ad revenue during the period fell 21 percent, to an estimated $9.1 billion (assuming no discounting) against the previous year and pages were down 28 percent to 79,245. Fashion and beauty titles were hit hard, particularly those trading heavily in the luxury sector. W’s ad pages were down 44 percent to 491, while Town & Country fell 43 percent to 429 pages and Allure dropped 32 percent to 501. Vogue wasn’t far behind, down 31 percent to 916 pages, followed by Lucky, which fell 30 percent to 506 pages. Harper’s Bazaar was down 27 percent to 645 pages. Time Inc.’s In Style posted a decline of 26 percent, to 1,005 pages, and Elle dropped 24 percent to 889 pages. Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire all posted roughly 20 percent declines, to 688 pages, 633 pages and 479 pages, respectively.
PIB reported the sectors most severely affected by the economic downturn, including automotive, retail and finance, also posted the greatest declines in ad revenue and paging. As for the bright spots, there were a few within larger ad categories: Under “toiletries and cosmetics,” hair accessories and men’s hygienic products showed an uptick in spending and pages; culinary ingredients and seasonings, as well as confectionery and snacks under “food and food products” provided some relief.
— Amy Wicks