The magazine association, PPA, has galvanised the UK’s 14 biggest magazine publishers to produce Magnify, the industry’s first major advertising study in five years.
The research was conducted by Gfk Nop and involved 18,000 respondents looking at 96 titles and more than 3,100 pages of advertising.
The aim was to examine the magazine reading occasion and the transfer of knowledge and influence when a magazine is read.
It found more than half (54%) of respondents noted pages of both copy and ads, and were almost just as likely to take action from the ads (63%) as they were editorial (66%).
Furthermore, 22% of respondents who noted the ads considered buying the product, and 16% went on to visit the related website. Almost a tenth (9%) of all magazine advertising pages in the study are reported to have generated a sale.
The study also confirmed the common sense view that different ad categories generate different kinds of responses, an insight that can be further explored by individual brands.
Food ads were more likely to result in a direct sale while motors ads were more likely to result in further research online.
The study also found that advertisers can optimise their spend through selective use of ad size, ad placement and use of creative. In addition, special mechanics like augmented reality features, were found to sway outputs more in their favour, but at a cost to the advertiser.
Launched to UK media agencies and publishers today, Magnify is being led by James Papworth, who joined as the PPA’s marketing director in September, and head of research Marius Cloete.
Papworth told Media Week: "Magnify clearly demonstrates that magazine readers see advertising as much a part of the offering as advertising. Both the ads and editorial are wrapped up together in the entirety of the reading occasion. There is no such thing as an ‘ad break’ in magazines."
Among the key findings identified for any would-be magazine advertiser were that bigger is better - with larger sizes and special positions scoring better; ads opposite editorial tended to be more widely read than those opposite other ads; and ads towards the front of a title do receive more attention than those at the back.
Magnify is the first release in a research programme that will continue throughout 2012, designed to highlight the benefits of magazine advertising.
The findings back up existing industry research, such as Absorbing Media, where magazine advertising was deemed to be the least intrusive and annoying of all media (internet not included in the study).