We already know the covers, but how thick with ad pages are this year’s all-important September issues going to be?
Pretty thick. Just when we thought print was dying, magazines are seeing an increase in ad pages, especially in fashion and beauty. Things are looking particularly good for Hearst, whose relatively recent acquisition, Elle, will debut Hearst’s largest September issue of all time, according to a rep. The fashion title will have 400 ad pages (annoying for us, but good for publishing!), up 14% from last year.
Clearly Elle‘s doing well over at Hearst–this news comes on the heels of four consecutive record-breaking issues in terms of ad pages. Fellow Hearst titles Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire also saw an ad page increase: the former increased by 16.6% to 360 pages, while the latter went up 23% to 237 pages. It’s Marie Claire‘s largest issue ever.
But what about Condé Nast?
Most of their big fashion titles like Vogue have yet to release their numbers. W‘s publisher told Ad Week that ad pages would be “flat to slightly off” for them compared to last September’s issue, which had 250. On the men’s side of things, GQ‘s pages increased by 5% to 204. Allure reported to us an increase of 10.7% and said that so far every issue in 2012 has seen an increase in ad pages compared with 2011. Last year, Vogue‘s September issue had 584 ad pages, which was an increase of 9.3 percent over the year before.
Ad Week points to Condé being slow to release their numbers as a sign that their titles might not be faring well. The Post’s Keith Kelly notes that Condé usually releases their September issue ad numbers earlier and hints that impending budget cuts have to do with a drop in ad pages in the September issues. He says that “Glamour and Vanity Fair are going to be particularly hard-hit.”
But who knows since the numbers haven’t actually been released in full yet? Vogue could pull through with some staggering stats behind that Lady Gaga cover. We’ll know for sure on Wednesday when the fashion bible releases its numbers but for now, who do you think will win the battle of the ad pages?