Monthly Archives: March 2013

International Herald Tribune Rebrand

The New York Times Company has announced that it is to rebrand the International Herald Tribune (IHT), its 125-year-old newspaper based in Paris, in October this year. The new title will be branded the International New York Times and will be boosted by a large marketing campaign.

The rebrand will be accompanied with substantial improvements to both the print and online offering (especially in the case of the latter, which currently looks as if it belongs in the last decade). Aside from a more streamlined operation, the expected results will be to increase subscribers/online users thereby increasing circulation and impression delivery globally and, as a result, drive advertising revenues up across both platforms.

The change comes off the back extensive research with international audiences.  As Mark Thompson (President and Chief Executive of the New York Times Company) concluded, there is “significant potential to grow the number of New York Times subscribers outside the United States”. Moreover, further research showed that the NYT brand is far better known globally than the IHT. Consequently, it seemed logical to bring the two together and create a stronger and more cohesive product for both advertisers and consumers alike.

This bold move comes with sacrifices- the NY Times is looking to sell its stake in the Boston Globe and other New England media properties in order to fund this move (it will also help the business focus strictly on NY Times branded products).

Ditching the IHT name has been suspected by many in the industry for a number of years now (ever since The New York Times Company purchased the Washington Posts 50% stake of the IHT at the end of 2002). Further evidence was the integration of both and in 2009 and “The Global Edition of the New York Times” being included below IHT masthead in both print and online.

International Herald Tribune changes its name


Whether the choice of name is a good move remains to be seen. There is no denying that IHT has always had a strong affiliation with New York. When founded in Paris in 1887, the paper was called the New York Herald. This changed to the New York Tribune in 1924. In fact, the IHT name only came into force in 1967. However, despite its New York ties, we wonder what the effect of having “New York” in the newspaper’s name- especially in non-US friendly territories.

Moreover, having the word “International” in the same title as “New York” does seem a little peculiar and could confuse potential readers as they might wonder if it just a slimmed down version of the NY Times sold abroad or is if it is an international business daily. We suspect that the new name will result in the title mainly appealing to US expats.

From a commercial point of view, the global offering will bring immediate benefits. Currently, planning campaigns in the NY Times and IHT is a laborious process as they both operate separate rate cards. It is a far less streamlined affair than the FT and Economist, for example. However, a new unified rate card and greater synergy across the global portfolio will make global planning much easier.

What will these changes mean for the main competitors (these being the FT, the WSJ and, in part, The Economist)?  We feel that it is only the WSJ that need perhaps worry as it is the only other title which has a big appeal with Americans (local and expats), has roots set in the US and, when looking at circulation/distribution has one that broadly resembles that of the NY Times/IHT.

The FT and The Economist both have much smaller dominance in the US and their US circulations are much smaller as a percentage of their total global run (roughly 30% for the former and 48% for the latter). This compares to unified NY Times which will see roughly 77% of its circulation in the US and the WSJ with a whopping 96% of its circulation in the US. As such, whilst the FT and Economist might see advertisers use the NY Times as a way to reach the US market, it is unlikely that they will be taken off global media plans as they still have a much higher ex-US circulation and also benefit from enormous respect and brand prestige on the international stage.

Sunday Times Style gets a make-over

10 March saw the re launch of Sunday Times Style Magazine, with the title being restored to its original roots; fashion and beauty. Non fashion and beauty editorial, including food, has now been moved to the Sunday Times Magazine, allowing Style to focus on its namesake. Strangely, Interiors has been retained.

Whilst the range of editorial content in the publication has decreased, the number of pages has increased, offering more beauty editorial and in turn advertising opportunities.

Style’s facelift will be supported by a year long brand campaign, designed to make this publication key within the fashion and beauty sector and set it aside from competitors.

Readers will have the opportunity to attend high profile branded events, such a Style Conversations, which has previously featured some of the world’s most famous and influential fashion designers including Valentino, Donatella Versace and John Galliano.

Repositioning this brand removes Style from the category in which it is currently bestowed, a Sunday Newspaper Supplement, in an attempt for it to be considered a prestigious and influential fashion and beauty publication. The publishers hope that this new focus will encourage advertisers to advertise in a relevant environment, whilst targeting the title’s high-end demographic. Hence Chanel taking the outside back cover in this weekend’s edition.

Head of Strategy, Times & Sunday Times at News International said: “This is one of the most important re launches for Style in its 10-year history as a standalone section. In recent years the magazine has become home to a range of content which, while much loved by readers, isn’t central to its mission. By refocusing the magazine on fashion and beauty we can ensure that we’re giving our core readers what they want whilst also offering advertisers a clearer opportunity.”

Sunday Times Style is revamped

Source: Style

Whilst Style’s re launch will be music to many Sunday Times fashion lovers’ ears, the question on our mind is – where is this publication now going to sit within the fashion and beauty advertising market? With firmly established competitors, is an increased fashion and beauty focus going to be enough to draw in additional advertisers? We have our doubts as to the volume of additional advertising.

Mail On Sunday’s YOU, an established fashion and beauty magazine supplement, boasts a readership that is 48% higher than Style. Their readership profile is also broader and younger than Style – and unless a brand is truly ‘top end’ the’ norm’ demographic of ABC1 18-45 for fashion and beauty advertisers will apply.

Being weekly, Style’s readership longevity is reduced compared to the established high circulation monthlies such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan and therefore not a threat to them.

They will undoubtedly be keen to continue to take and maybe increase their share of the GWP (gift with purchase) promotional advertising enjoyed by the weekly supplements and the paid for titles such as Grazia and Hello.

With the plethora of quality paid for fashion and beauty titles a ‘free’ supplement is less likely to command the gravitas of Vogue or Marie Claire. But should the editorial team be able to deliver exceptional ‘exclusives’ they may gain a higher profile in this crowded and competitive marketplace. Perhaps taking over from where ES Magazine sat in the days of its premiership in this market and command some additional lucrative fashion advertising. The quality of advertisers in this weekend’s issue was quite high though 3 ‘House’ ads were evident.

With print advertising revenues so hard to attract we see their logic of being more focussed in their delivery but doubt that they will immediately draw in large amounts of ‘new’ advertising.

Relaunch of Postar as Route heralds a revolution for outdoor media

On 26 February, Postar unveiled its new out-of-home audience research system and announced its re-launch as ‘Route’

The audience research body for outdoor advertising in Great Britain invested £19 million into investigating how the British public consumes outdoor media and is finally able to give the medium a people-centric view.

The research study, undertaken by Ipsos MediaCT and MGE Data, a GIS specialist based in Prague, used a fieldwork sample of 28,000 people to conduct the study, recording a total of 19 billion individual GPS records over the course of 9 days; the largest GPS travel survey to ever take place.

The video below shows how the new Route data was collected:

What this means for advertisers is that the door is now open to trading by audience in the future – The new research has been designed around hyper-local geography which makes it possible to plan by town, choose from 24 conurbations or the 14 BARB areas. In addition, it is now also possible to plan and trade by day-part.

One part of the original Postar does survive – the pioneering eye-tracking research that was developed by Birkbeck College, London. However, this has now been extended in order to examine in more detail how people see the world.

In particular, significant effort was made to understand the relative visibility of ads in specific environments. For example, what is the visibility of buses to people in cars compared to those walking on the pavement? Route also seeks to take into account the effects of illumination and motion (such a scrolling displays and digital formats) on the visual impact of these formats.

Route encompassed a range of outdoor environments when conducting the study, including airports, buses, the London underground and shopping centres, revealing that in an average day, a person will see approximately 27 roadside posters, 14 bus advertisements and 74 ads with each tube journey that they take.

It was also revealed that the average distance that a person will travel out of home per week is 241km at an average of 19.94 km/h. Men both travel farther and faster than women.

The research can be broken down into demographics, including age, class and lifestyle, giving a greater insight into the way in which people view and are affected by outdoor advertising

Glenn Wilson, managing director of Posterscope, has forecast that the new technology will allow advertisers to bring more innovative approaches to outdoor planning, as well as better accountability and more sophisticated reporting. It will also allow for greater integration with other data sources, both industry and proprietary, allowing more holistic evaluation of campaigns.

Road, bus and tube data is available immediately, with rail and retail coming soon and airports ready by the end of the year.