Project Orange – a working title – is backed by Time Inc UK, Immediate Media, Hearst UK, H Bauer, Haymarket, Dennis Publishing, Conde Nast and Bauer Media. The companies’ collective ad revenues total £473m.
The body will be led by Sue Todd, who is currently a owner of media consultancy Wonder Worldwide. Prior to founding that business she served as marketing director of CBS Outdoor for three years and was also a marketing director at Emap Advertising.
As Project Orange CEO, a role she will take up in January next year, Todd will be responsible for commissioning research and collaborations with advertisers and agencies to promote the value of magazine media brands and their ability to deliver results for brands.
Project Orange will operate independently from the PPA (Professional Publishing Association), which also represents b2b publishers and conducts activities outside of marketing to advertisers such as training and lobbying.
The consumer magazines industry will be hoping the formation of the body will arrest a decline in ad revenues. Ad revenue generated by UK magazine brands drop 5.7 per cent to £1.038bn in 2013 and that figure is forecast to drop a further 2.1 per cent this year, according to the latest AA/Warc figures.
In looking to better promote the digital opportunities magazine brands offers, the launch of Project Orange bears resemblance to the relaunch of the Newspaper Marketing Agency to Newsworks in 2012.