The National Magazine Company - which until now has been reluctant
to spend heavily on advertising its brands - is to appoint a single
agency to plan and buy media for all its titles.
The publisher is expected to spend pounds 4 million next year on
above-the-line advertising for its brands.
Until now it has used agencies on a project-by-project basis but over
the past few weeks it has held talks with a handful of media shops about
the benefits of centralising its entire portfolio into a single
Most of NatMags’ advertising activity has been to push Zest, the health
and beauty spin-off from Cosmopolitan. This was handled by Manning
Gottlieb Media. There was also a regional campaign for Company, planned
and bought by New PHD.
The rest of its marketing activities have centred on covermounts,
advertising in same-stable titles, and brand extensions such exhibitions
linked to magazines.
The switch in strategy is being steered by Sue Coffin, NatMags’
marketing strategy director. She would not comment on the plans beyond
confirming centralisation was planned and saying a decision would be
taken before the end of the year.
The centralisation will embrace all NatMag magazines as well as its
events and brand extensions.
The selection process will almost certainly result in one agency being
chosen before the year is out.
The decision to centralise the planning and buying has been driven by
fierce competition in the magazine market and the dramatic increase in
online activity, which provides a new challenge to traditional
Although media planning and buying in recent years have been conducted
on a magazine and project basis, it will not be the first time that
NatMags has pooled the resource. CIA Medianetwork used to hold a
centralised NatMags account.