As Meredith Builds Its Marketing Business, Could It Become Madison Avenue’s Frenemy?

Print advertising declines may have eased a bit, but magazines are still struggling. Women’s magazine publisher Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP) has attempted to get ahead of the industry’s upheaval by aggressively diversifying its operations with integrated marketing offerings during the last five years. A WSJ piece provides a good overview of Meredith’s marketing moves. The company’s efforts are getting high marks from its advertisers as Meredith attempts to build a solid alternative revenue stream in an uncertain time. But the moves also invite a question: Could those same advertisers and agencies that it partners with ultimately come to regard Meredith as a competitor?

Meredith, which is best known for mag brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and Ladies