“Promo Pages” On the Rise in Consumer Magazines
Seventy-two percent of MPA member mags offered promo in 2010.
The number of "promo pages"-advertorial and other pages labeled as advertising or promotion but produced to resemble editorial and often carrying tags such as "Must-haves" and "Essentials"-grew 9 percent in MPA member magazines in 2010, according to ad tracker MagazineRadar. Seventy-two percent of MPA magazines ran promo last year, 14 more than in 2009.
Meanwhile, the number of individual promo ads (typically featuring multiple products or services of the sponsor) on those pages grew 34 percent. Twenty-five percent more brands received more "promo" in 2010 than in 2009. While a number of different ad categories saw increased promo pages, the number of Apparel and Accessories brands receiving promo pages in MPA magazines jumped 16 percent to 512 in 2010. The number of baby and children brands receiving promo pages more than doubled to 45.
"We are seeing this in the wider world, as fashion editors recommend outfits at Target and JCPenney, and promo may be another way in which magazines leverage their brand equity in order to attract ad dollars," says the MagazineRadar blog. "Headlines like ‘Maxim Buyer’s Edge’ and ‘InStyle Insider’ are thought to have influence, and for magazines, that’s a very good thing."
Properly marked, promo pages can offer a service to readers (although produce too much and they’ll wonder why they picked up the magazine in the first place). Still, it beats the "ads on covers" craze from two years ago.