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'We're Not Hearing Anybody Walking Away From Print'

Media buyer: Print still sells but advertisers giving statements a close look.

Matt Kinsman By Matt Kinsman
12/18/2008 -12:15 PM

It may seem as though advertisers are trimming print budgets left and right (Macy's recently said it was dropping print in the first quarter of 2009) but at least one major media buyer says print will still has some legs in the new year.

"We're not hearing anybody walking away from print," says Roberta Garfinkle, senior vice president and director of print strategy at media buyer TargetCast. "In fact we have one client who hasn't done print in a while who's coming back to it. They think it's a viable medium and the message they want to convey for 2009 is a perfect fit for magazines."

Still, magazines will be put under the microscope. "Advertisers are looking to us to be more vigilant about how we spend print dollars and really scrutinize ABC or BPA statements," says Garfinke. "We're talking to magazines more about their plans for coming years--changes in circ and the editorial product in a down economy--but we're not hearing anybody say, ‘we're not doing print, print is in trouble.'"

While Garfinkle wonders why a publisher would launch a new print title right now, she does say startups will get consideration too. "What attracts the advertiser is what always attracted advertisers--edit synergy. How is this advertiser's message going to fit in edit environment?" she adds. "We always do a deep dive on numbers, audience, circulation. That's not changing in any way. Convince me you've done your homework and you've got enough money to support this magazine until it finds its legs."

Still, Garfinkle says one recent launch is getting all the buzz: Food Network Magazine, the collaboration between Hearst and the Food Network. The premiere issue hit newsstands in October with a follow-up planned for January.

Matt Kinsman By Matt Kinsman --

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