Stephen Quinn insists his newly announced appointment to senior
publishing director of Conde Nast - with a remit for the whole portfolio
- does not signal a move towards group selling.
While retaining his publishing director role at Vogue, Quinn will take
an overview of advertising issues, chair advertising department meetings
and monitor the performance of all titles.
He will also be responsible for explaining advertising performance to
the company’s US parent and will assist managing director Nicholas
Coleridge in annual account reviews with key clients. However, he will
not be able to authorise deals across other titles.
Quinn preferred to describe his role as ’a bit of fine tuning and taking
some weight off Nicholas’ and said his additional responsibilities will
occupy one day a week. And he is adamant that Conde Nast is not about to
follow its rivals the National Magazine Company, Emap and IPC down the
group sales route.
’We have a violent antipathy towards corporate selling. It might be
right for other publishing companies, but we believe that the individual
magazine publishers are the experts and know exactly the value of their
titles,’ said Quinn. ’If you lumped them together, then you would
sacrifice rates and undermine margins.’
This stance is justified by Vogue’s performance and high yields in
comparison with its rivals, said Quinn. ’The title teams are best able
to articulate the argument for their magazines and justify their premium
price,’ he said.
However, he stressed that Conde Nast in the UK is not internally
competitive in the way its US parent is.
’We have a collegiate mentality. If a magazine is struggling to fill an
issue, then it can look at the others’ flatplans and perhaps get some
ideas,’ he revealed.
Quinn is hoping to introduce the other magazines to new revenue
’Working for Vogue, I cover a lot of international territory. So next
time I’m talking to Robert Triefus of Giorgio Armani, I can also talk
about Tatler and GQ,’ he said.
Conde Nast claimed that advertising sales volumes are up by around 5 per
cent this year. The company publishes approximately 12,000 pages of
advertising every year.