Playboy to Go Digital

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Placing jokes about digits aside for a moment, lad-mag granddaddy Playboy will launch a digital addition of the magazine with its October issue on September 13th. The digital addition will be powered by Zinio Systems. As with the print edition, the digital version will be available for subscription and single copy sale. While Playboy does have a website with some of the magazine's content, Zinio systems will reproduce the magazine online exactly as it appears in print. Playboy's Lingerie is already produced digitally by Zinio.

Hoping for further worldwide reach, the move is more likely in reaction to the publication's declining numbers. Year-to-date ad pages are down 15 percent, the magazine missed its 3.15 million rate base by 35,002 and newsstand sales are down 23.2 percent. Zino says circulation of digital editions, on average, amount to five percent of print circulation. All other variable being equal, that brings an additional 157,500 readers though, likely, a considerable percentage of digital subscribers will come from canceled print subscriptions lessening the increase.

by Steve Hall    Aug-26-05    
Topic: Magazine, Online, Publishing



Advertising Veteran Slams Industry in New Book

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Thirteen year advertising industry veteran Hadji Williams has published a book, Knock the Hustle: How to Save Your Job And Your Life From Corporate America, which takes a look inside corporate America, focusing on the ad industry, and calls the whole thing a scam with calling diversity a joke and, by design, keeping the ad industry as lily-white as ever; claiming Madison Avenue a place with no morals; calling he agency/client relationship a pimp and ho relationship; citing focus groups and time sheets useless because of continuous cover your ass antics; ridiculing corporate hierarchies with too many bosses and not enough leaders and naming marketers as pied pipers who need to look in the mirror before criticizing pop culture.

While we haven't read the book, our own experience in the industry, while perhaps not as negative as Williams' seems to have been, certainly leads us to believe Williams may not be too far off the mark.

by Steve Hall    Aug- 9-05    
Topic: Publishing



Technology Could Kill the Media Buy/Sell Relationship

With the increasing automation of the media buy/sell relationship, there has been a shift towards forcing a square peg in a round whole when it comes to a buyer gleaning information from a media seller for consideration as part of a media program. It's only natural to try to streamline the process but when it eliminates viable media properties, simply because the media property can't fit its (very worthy) square peg sell into the buyer's myopic, square buy hole, that's a very bad thing. And, seemingly, it's all done, not without merit, just to get all potential media vehicles on the same proverbial playing field so the buyer can then compare them using the same set of metrics. Well, an apple isn't an orange and it never will be but apples and oranges are both, still, food worthy of consumption.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-22-05    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Publishing



Book Promoted With 'TwattyGirl' Apparel

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Having gone to trademark court to prove the word "TwattyGirl" is "not immoral or scandalous," let alone referential to a particular female body part, New York-based hedge fund executive Precious Marlowe (again, who names their kids like this?) has launched an apparel brand called TwattyGirl. According to the press release, the line is "designed for independent, sexy, bold, outspoken women from 18-45 and is inspired by the main character, TwattyGirl, in Marlowe's forthcoming novel – 'Bulletproof –Things Twattygirl Told You, But You Didn't Want to Hear.'" Of course, this whole thing is just a stunt to promote the book.

The line will include t-shirts with inspirational slogans or "twattyisms" along with lingerie, jewelry, baseball caps and greeting cards.

by Steve Hall    Jul-21-05    
Topic: Publishing, Specialty, Strange



McGraw-Hill to Sell Textbook Ads

Likely to be viewed with as much acceptance as Catholic nuns running around in thongs, textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Ryerson plans to sell ads in textbooks used by Canadian college students. So in the middle of college physics when Brad Pitt stares up and asks, "Honey, Want A Heineken," the professor shouldn't be all that surprised when all the females in class suddenly start squirming in their seats completely forgetting that E=MC2.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-05    
Topic: Publishing



Harlequin Uses 'Mr. Romance' Winners to Promote Books

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Because navel gazing isn't just for men, we thought we'd let you know trashy novel publisher Harlequin has tapped Oxygen Network Mr. Romance winner Randy Ritchwood and Viewer's Choice winner Andrew Larson to grace the covers of the company's new novel covers. All this to promote books.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 2-05    
Topic: Publishing



New York Times Reporter Joins Ad Age

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Advertising Age announced three editorial additions "designed to strengthen its global leadership position in coverage of the advertising, marketing and media industries."

Effective June 15, Nat Ives will join Advertising Age as a media reporter covering the publishing industry and corporate media strategies. Ives has been at The New York Times since 2001, where he wrote hundreds of stories on advertising and media, many of them focused on the exploration of new forms of marketing.

I wonder what Stuart Elliott thinks of this.

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by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-05    
Topic: Publishing



Meredith to Acquire G + J For $350 Million

After overpaying for Fast Company, becoming embroiled in Rosie O'Donnell's freaked out life and getting caught inflation its circulation figured for Rosie and YM, G + J has thrown in the towel and is selling itself to Meredith Corporation. Meredith, who will become the country's second largest publisher behind Time Inc. after the acquisition, will get G + J's Parents, Child, Fitness and Family Circle. G + J will try to sell Fast Company and and Inc. on its own before June 30, the date the Meredith/G + J deal finalizes.

Orchestrating the deal was G + J's Russell Denson who is said to be the master of prepping publishing companies for sale.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Magazine, Publishing



VNU launches 'Inside Branded Entertainment'

Drawing together resources from its AdWeek, BrandeWeek, MediaWeek, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter properties, VNU Business Media has, today, launched Inside Branded Entertainment, a website reporting on branded entertainment. So far, it just appears to be an aggregation site for branded entertainment related stories pulled from the VNU stable of sites rather than originally created content.

by Steve Hall    May- 5-05    
Topic: Publishing



Brand Manager Blog Offers Client Perspective

Thirdway, a consultancy run by former brand managers, has launched a weblog, The ThirdWay Blog, intended to offer commentary from the client side. Heading up the blog is ThirdWay, Inc. President and Adjunct NYU Professor of Marketing David Vinjamuri who spent 15 years working at Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and DoubleClick, among others. From a brand managers viewpoint, Ninjamuri rates television commercials and discusses what, in his and other writer's opinions works and what doesn't.

by Steve Hall    May- 1-05    
Topic: Publishing








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