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First Automotive Media Mix Study Shows Magazines Are Crucial Element

Press release from the issuing company

New York, N.Y. (May 12, 2002)—The Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) partnered with a major automotive company and commissioned Hudson River Group to study three specific models over a three year period. The study entitled “What Drives Automotive Sales” substantiates the effectiveness of magazines in the media mix for the automotive category, it was announced today jointly by Ellen Oppenheim, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, MPA and Sean Rice, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Hudson River Group. This is the first publicly released media mix study ever done in the United States utilizing automotive as a category. Some highlights of the study include: Advertising was a significant contributor to volume for all three brands measured. Magazines play an important role in driving sales volume for automotive brands. An average of 2.2% of total volume for the brands studied was driven by magazines. The HRG “All Industry” average is 1.9%. For perspective, according to J.D. Power & Associates, a point in the automotive market today is worth nearly $4 billion. Return on Investment (ROI) for all brands was positive for magazines (i.e. each dollar invested in magazines returned more than one dollar in incremental sales). All three models had ROIs higher than the “All Industry” average of $1.33. An average of 48% weeks of TV advertising exceeded the saturation point, where additional weight no longer drove significant volume. Allocating some of those dollars to magazines would increase overall advertising ROI. Magazines outperformed secondary media for all three brands analyzed. Overall ROI for all secondary media averaged only $3.62 in incremental sales per dollar spent versus $8.23 for magazines. “The automotive media mix study reinforces findings from other accountability studies across a range of products and services,” said Ms. Oppenheim. “As in other categories, shifting money to magazines will give automotive advertisers a better return on their investment.” “The most important finding for any marketing mix analysis is determining the proper allocation of support across the entire marketing arsenal,” said Mr. Rice. “We often find that magazines are an important arrow in the marketer’s quiver, especially for brands that require specific targeting -- which is one of magazines’ strengths.”