FamilyFun Recasts Ad Pitch
February 12, 2007
By Lucia Moses
ADWEEK

Like other family and parenting magazines, Disney Publishing Worldwide's FamilyFun took a hit last year when packaged goods and automotive advertising beat a retreat from print. Ad pages in 2006 declined 5.4 percent for FamilyFun and 10.1 percent for the category overall, reports the Mediaweek Monitor.

FamilyFun is betting on a comeback in part by persuading marketers that the magazine is the ideal place to reach readers in their role as not just moms but women, said Mary Beth Wright, publisher of FamilyFun as well as Disney Adventures. "Last time I checked," she said, "mothers are women, too."

To date, that argument has helped Wright win new business from Target and Nissan and increased schedules from Hyundai and Kia. She also sees growth potential in the categories of health and beauty aids packaged food and consumer electronics targeting women. In the works is a program with Best Buy, an existing advertiser, that would target female gadget-buyers.

FamilyFun also is breaking some new ground on the endemic advertising front, scoring Claritin, Advil and Benedryl—remedies geared to the title's demo (parents of children ages 3-12). Wal-Mart and The Children's Place also are running schedules for the first time this year.

All told, those schedules have helped boost FamilyFun's pages 9 percent in the first quarter of 2007, according to the magazine.

The push comes as FamilyFun adopts a new, boxy logo and new content with the February issue. It introduced new editorial series that offer ways to bring fun to family events and record family history.

The changes complete a yearlong redesign aimed at updating the 16-year-old title for the Gen X set. Last February, FamilyFun unveiled a cleaner appearance with more photos and graphics, and upped its rate base to 2 million from 1.9 million. For first-half 2006, paid and verified circ rose 5.9 percent to 1.9 million, per the Audit Bureau of Circulations.