TV listings publishers unite for retail poster campaign

Three of the biggest magazine publishers have united to launch a month-long promotion for their TV listings magazines through WH Smith’s wholesale operation.

IPC, BBC Worldwide and Bauer have come together in what is thought to be their first co-operation in this sector to pay for 10,000 poster ads in time for the key autumn TV schedules. The ads will be put up from September 13 in 2,500 of the biggest independent newsagents supplied by WH Smith News.

The creative work, supplied by design company Capell Industries, features BBC Worldwide’s Radio Times; IPC’s titles What’s on TV, TV Times and TV & Satellite Week; and the Bauer magazines TV Quick and TV Choice. The latter magazine launched last week supported by a TV advertising campaign created by Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy, with media bought by Motive.

A spokeswoman for WHS News says: “The big independents make up ten per cent of our total customer base but because they are not part of big multiples they find it hard to source promotional and advertising material.”

WHS News product manager Neil Redford says: “This is a major opportunity for publishers to secure audience recognition in time for the bumper sales period of Christmas. The launch of TV Choice demonstrates publisher faith in the enduring value of this sector in the face of competition from free newspaper listings.” The company says it has recorded increases of 56 per cent on Men’s Health and 130 per cent on Ideal Home thanks to its promotional campaigns.

The last round of six-monthly Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for the TV listings market in August registered an improvement but there were still small declines over the period for Radio Times, TV Times and TV Quick. TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV showed circulation gains of 2.5 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.

The TV magazines market is expected to get even more competitive, with the launch of soap titles and digital listings in electronic as well as magazine formats.

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