Last night Bloomberg posted a profile of Laura Lang, the digital ad agency veteran who took over the reins of Time Inc. late last year. The story, written by Edmund Lee, is focused on the media executive's plans to "to unify its long-sparring online and print fiefdoms."
As always, rather than rehash the article here, I would encourage you to read the entire post on the Bloomberg site.
The part I would like to discuss, though, is Lang's efforts to change the way Time Inc. goes about selling combined print and digital advertising. Lang talks about linking editorial efforts with sales, though without Lang said the magazines won't go so far as to produce advertorial for clients.
The approach is what you would expect from someone coming from the agency side – and it is most definitely the right approach. "Advertisers I’ve met with have all said the same thing: 'I love your print product, but find a way to let me do it with other channels,'" Lang is quoted as saying.
A small item in the story seemed to me to actually be a very big development, if proved true. According to Lee's story, Time Inc. has a deal with Apple to sell into its iAd network. Time Inc.'s CEO is not quoted on the subject, and the company is mum about the deal.
If Bloomberg's report is right about this, this is an interesting development. It is no secret that Apple has made a mess of iAds. Let's face it, Apple's way of doing business runs counter to effective advertising sales. My way or the highway is hardly a good approach to take when trying to sell space.
In conversations I have had with magazine association executives on both the consumer and B2B side I have inquired into their contacts with Apple and have always been surprised to find out that there have been, to all intents and purposes, none. Media executives almost always over estimate their ability to make Apple care about them – Apple's size and growth dwarfs media's.
But Apple has at least one area where it has failed: advertising. If Time Inc. really is going to be working with Apple on iAds then I will be very interested to see what results from the collaboration.
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