BUSINESS PRESS REPORT: BUSINESS SECTOR PROFILES - Many publishers are reporting an increase in advertising revenues. By Richard Cook and Ed Shelton report



The farming industry is in considerable difficulty at the moment.

Not just because of the spectre of BSE hanging over the livestock

industry but, overall, the strength of the pound is helping to depress

the export market that is crucial for big business farming while at the

same time pushing up the cost of mater-ials. Display advertising

revenues have still not reached their late-80s peaks, with the total

number of pages of display reaching just over 8,000 last year, compared

with a high of 11,000.

The sector is dominated by Reed Business Information’s Farmer’s Weekly

and Miller Freeman’s Farming News, both weekly titles. Both deal with

agencies on a share basis, offering healthy discounts to agencies that

can guarantee a bigger share. And most advertisers can meet their

targets by tying up solus deals with one or the other.

As a controlled circulation title, Farming News has a smaller, tighter

circulation profile. Farmer’s Weekly, on the other hand, is bought not

just by farmers but by people selling to them. Its circulation is nearly

97,000. Both have invested heavily in online versions of the titles and

are bullish about the potential of this new medium.

MAGAZINE                             PUBLISHER                       ABC

                                                              Jan-Jun 97

Farmer’s Weekly                      Reed Business Info           96,535

British Farmer & Grower Magazine     National Farmers Union       85,064

British Farmer & Grower Business     National Farmers Union       84,601

Farming News                         Miller Freeman               70,313

Farmer’s Guardian                    Miller Freeman               54,720

Arable Farming                       Miller Freeman               33,896

Crops                                Reed Business Info           33,356

British Dairying                     WB Publishing                29,885

Dairy Farmer                         Miller Freeman               27,698

Scottish Farmer                      Caledonian Publishing        22,530


With the stock market on a roll since 1992, the overall trend for titles

in the sector has been up.

The market supports four weeklies, which have all grown in the past


The two broadest titles in the market, FT Finance’s Financial Advisor

and Centaur Communications’ Money Marketing, both saw increases in ad

volumes of around 40 per cent last year.

Two other weekly publications are Financial Advisor’s sister title,

Investment Advisor, and City Financial Communications’ Investment Week.

Both titles focus on investment advice, with Investment Week targeting

the top end of the independent financial advisor market. Both say

business is strong.

All titles are in the process of moving into online interactive services

that will aim to provide product information across all the market


The accountancy press is dominated by VNU’s Accountancy Age, which is

unopposed as a generalist weekly. It is also experiencing growth.

Although display volumes have only grown in single digit terms in the

past year, 1997 recruitment volumes were up 40 per cent up. Accountancy

is the biggest element of financial recruitment.

MAGAZINE                             PUBLISHER                       ABC

                                                              Jan-Jun 97

Financial Advisor                    FT Finance                   38,845

Money Marketing                      Centaur Communications       30,844

Money Management                     FT Magazines                 19,875

Global Investment                    Cornhill Publications        15,412

Finance Director Europe              Cornhill Publications        15,319

Investment Week                      City Financial Comms         14,769

Investment Advisor                   FT Finance                   13,696

Professional Pensions                MSM International            11,265

The Actuary                          Caledonian Magazines         10,610

Pensions Management                  FT Magazines                 10,187


There are more than 400 medical and health titles registered in BRAD, so

the recent arrival of Emap Business Communications in the sector could

lead to some fall-out.The flagship of Emap’s new heathcare division is

Nursing Times, which has a newsstand circulation of more than


It was acquired from Macmillan Magazines last year. Emap now plans to

market Nursing Times’s 200,000 readership to mainstream young women’s


In the sector that targets general practitioners, there are at least

seven weeklies, six fortnightlies and 20 monthlies. Among the weeklies

are the three flagship tabloids: Haymarket’s GP, Miller Freeman’s Pulse

and Reed Healthcare’s Doctor. The three fight it out, as do the bulk of

medical titles, on the basis of readership rather than any nuances of

their circulation list because the market is so easily defined and lists

of GPs are readily available.

One agency chief specialising in the sector says because the database in

this market is easy to target, doctors get sent many products through

the post, making it hard to persuade them to try new ones. Advertisers,

therefore, are being forced to try out more innovative approaches to


MAGAZINE                             PUBLISHER                       ABC

                                                              Jan-Jun 97

MIMS                                 Haymarket                    60,079

Medeconomics                         Haymarket                    42,989

Pulse                                Miller Freeman               42,423

General Practitioner                 Haymarket                    42,292

Hospital Doctor                      Reed Healthcare              42,205

Financial Pulse                      Miller Freeman               41,053

The Practitioner                     Miller Freeman               40,619

Doctor                               Reed Healthcare              35,916

Update                               Reed Healthcare              32,555

Surgery OTC Review                   Communicatons Int            11,991


Miller Freeman’s Travel Trade Gazette and Reed’s Travel Weekly continue

to dominate the sector with around 90 per cent of the total spend

between them. The size of the market is static, with increased tour

operator promotions balancing the decline in airline and hotel


This year, however, started badly with a reduced January spend from the

big tour operators.

TTG recently increased its rates, in some cases by more than 40 per


As a result, some advertisers went to the rival publication and TTG’s

share of display fell from 60 per cent to below 50 per cent. Miller

Freeman says the move was still a success as the improvements in yield

increased profits by around 30 per cent in 1997.

The recruitment market has shown growth as a result of the increasing

sophistication of high street tour operators. There is now a greater

need for companies to advertise to reach the right staff. Overall,

recruitment advertising was up 28 per cent in ’97 with TTG’s share

around 62 per cent.

The entry of the Association of British Travel Agents into the monthly

market looks set to change the balance slightly.

MAGAZINE                             PUBLISHER                       ABC

                                                              Jan-Jun 97

Executive Travel                     Reed Travel Group            43,039

Business Traveller                   Perry Publications           35,652

Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland    Miller Freeman               25,267

Travel Weekly inc Travel News        Reed Business Info           23,045

Business Traveller Asia/Pacific      Interasia Publications       22,912

World Travel & Tourism Development   THG International Pub        20,159

Travel Trade Gazette Europe          Miller Freeman               19,078

Travel Asia                          Venture Asia Pub Pte         17,369

Travel Trade Gazette Asia            Miller Freeman Asia          17,025

Selling Long Haul                    Business Magazines Int       16,970

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