Meredith’s Online Ad Dollars Rise By Double Digits


The ad recovery appeared to be in full swing last quarter, as Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP) experienced a major turnaround in its earnings. That was especially true for online, which the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle has been aggressively pushing its consumer marketing business as well as its cross-platform mag/web deals.

Considering that Meredith didn’t even mention online revenues last year, it’s clear that the 21 percent rise in the last quarter qualifies as positive reversal. Online dollars were driven by higher spending in the pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods and retail categories.

The Integrated Marketing unit business struggled last year as the company said it was hit by the recession later than other areas. But this past year, revenues have been steadily climbing back up.

Specifically, integrated marketing revenues rose 7 percent in the past quarter. Meredith was an early believer in the need to create its own marketing agency in the face of industry-wide print advertising declines. Now, even as advertising has recovered, this area provides an additional revenue boost. In terms of the rising revenues this past quarter, Meredith cited a combination of content development, CRM, digital and social capabilities for new and existing clients, including Lowe’s, SunTrust Bank and Chrysler, for bringing back the growth.

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