Magazine Marketing – Women’s Day
John increased circulation through      
promotional ideas that appealed to all.               


One of John’s clients of recent years has been A.C.P. (Australian Consolidated Press), publishers of well-known magazine titles such as Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Good Medicine and Burke’s Backyard.

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Whilst under the direction of magazine supremo Nene King, John dealt closely with publisher, Tim Trumper, to provide A.C.P. with circulation building ideas, predominantly with a long-term repetitive-readership stimulus.

Because Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Day tend to have a broad female demographic appeal, which covers just about all age groups, John’s task was a very challenging one. His brief was that any promotional ideas preferably needed to have as much attraction to a 60-year old as they did to a 25-year old.

Why? Because the readership profile of such magazines had virtually an equal proportion of the four major female age categories (20 something, 30 something, 40 something, and 50 something), therefore necessitating that not only content “covered all bases”, but also any “promotional offers”.


John was asked to predominantly concentrate on the Woman’s Day Magazine, a weekly publication which had reached a peak circulation of around 1 million copies in the early ‘90’s, but by the year 2000, had gone the way of most other large titles – and had dropped to a circulation of between 500,000 and 600,000 copies a week.

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John's bingo format, designed to promote repetitive purchasing of the magazine

(Due to most publishers releasing numerous new women’s titles throughout the ‘90’s, a “cannibalisation effect” came into play in the magazine industry, with the leading titles losing market share to their sister publications.)

John worked with the Woman’s Day Marketing team to provide readers with “value add” promotional bonuses, which covered a wide age group. These included things like:

  • 45% worth of discounted Hoyts movie tickets.
  • $50 worth of free cosmetics.
  • Up to 50% off handy household gadgets.

All of these types of promotions provided readers with an extraordinary “free bonus” and therefore enticed new prospects to “sample the magazine”. John also encouraged the publisher to consider “sampling” the actual magazine by inserting an 8-page version in the Sunday Press, but unfortunately this didn’t eventuate.


Because of John’s “confidentiality agreement” with A.C.P., the results of the specific circulation increases from these sorts of promotional concepts cannot be published. However, each one of John’s concepts contributed to the magazine enjoying a healthy increase in its weekly circulation.


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John also produced numerous similar promotional concepts for other magazines throughout the 90’s. He consulted to the Pacific Magazines Group for stimulating circulation of their TV Week and New Idea magazines, providing these titles with concepts which stimulated repetitive purchasing of their publications.

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Readers would get a free scratch bingo card from the magazine and need to ring a 0055 phone number to gain the “call routine” of numbers to scratch. Throughout this period, John’s concepts broke telephone response records, with one particular week recording over 750,000 phone calls to gain the relevant “bingo card numbers” for scratching.

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