- MPA—the Association of Magazine Media—has arranged with 16 member companies to offer a money-back guarantee on print advertising.
- Publishers participating in the program reach 72% of the magazine audience in the United States and include Time Inc., Hearst Magazines, and Condé Nast.
- MPA launched a measurement tool last year to help marketers count print, online, and mobile audiences of magazine content including video.
Sixteen major magazine publishers are joining forces to offer a guarantee that print ads will move the needle for marketers, offering advertisers their money back or free pages if product sales don’t increase after running print ads in their titles. Measurement will be conducted by third-party research firms such as Nielsen Catalina Solutions, which can match subscriber data to retail loyalty programs to determine sales trends.
The guarantee applies only to print campaigns reaching 125 million U.S. adults at least three times in a 12-month period in a single title or portfolio of properties, and requires that advertisers boost spending with individual publishers to cover program costs.
Guarantee or not, it’s unlikely that new spending will reverse declines in print advertising. Magazine print revenues are expected to fall 1.8% this year to a new low of $17.4 billion, according to ZenithOptimedia. The slide has been slow but steady since 2009, when spending stabilized after suffering a precipitous drop at the start of the Great Recession.
Time Inc. and Meredith Corp. already offer guarantees on print advertising; Time’s data says that every dollar invested in a print ad returns an average of $17 in sales. Meredith has never had to honor its guarantee in four years.