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Vogue weighs in, literally, with September issue

Mark Garrison Jul 27, 2012
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Stacey Vanek Smith: Fashion magazines seem to be en vogue again. After several years of sluggish advertising, the glossies have just posted ad sales for their all-important September issues — and the numbers are looking fat. Vogue saw a 13 percent ad page increase over last year. With 658 pages of ads, it will be Vogue’s thickest September issue since the financial crisis.

Mark Garrison reports.


Mark Garrison: It’s so heavy it’s practically a piece of carry-on luggage. Every year, media pundits dust off old jokes about mailmen getting hernias and skinny models too frail to lift the magazine they appear in. At $165,000 for a full-page ad, Vogue must be raking it in.

Not exactly, says Steve Cohn, editor-in-chief of Media Industry Newsletter.

Steve Cohn: You can’t totally judge a book by its cover or a book by its ad pages anymore.

Almost nobody pays the sticker price for a full-page ad. Publishers make deals and do discounts, so the fatness of the issue doesn’t track perfectly with revenue. And why would a fashion or luxury brand want to be in a magazine so stuffed with ads, where it’s hard to stand out? Adweek news editor Lucia Moses explains.

Lucia Moses: When you’re in the September issue, you’re in very good company. There’s definitely a prestige factor of being in there.

For certain brands, skipping Vogue would be unfashionable, maybe even unprofitable.

In New York, I’m Mark Garrison for Marketplace.

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