Time and Starcom team to offer magazine ads that work – or you get free ones

One of the reasons the internet, and before that direct mail, have driven a coach and horses through traditional media models is that they provide results, more or less instantly.

Now giant US magazine publisher Time Warner and media buyer Starcom have teamed to offer advertisers free ads if their campaign doesn’t deliver sufficient people who act on the ads or at least remember them.

The offer is open initially to Starcom’s big US magazine user clients who include Coca-Cola, General Motors and Wal-Mart. The ad performance will be measured by outsiders Affinity Vista and Mediamark Research and Intelligence’s AdMeasure over six months and the makeweight ads will appear in the six months afterwards.

Cynics will say that magazine publishers do this anyway, to keep disgruntled advertisers and agencies onside.

And a lot of the ads you get in magazines are not conducive to instant action, like corporate ads for banks or haute couture frocks in Vogue.

Still it’s a sign that trad media are feeling a bit braver in the face of the twin perils of pressurised ad budgets and the all-conquering internet.

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