By Bill Duggan
By Bill Duggan
I’d like to share a letter I wrote to the editor of Ad Age, printed in the September 28th issue:
Publishers should cut ‘bleed’ fees
Regarding "Condé Nast Execs to make Big Cuts, Insiders Say" (AdAge.com, Sept. 14): It would be terrific if McKinsey's analysis went beyond cost controls and also included a review of Condé Nast's pricing policies to ensure those policies are in alignment with marketplace realities. One such policy under scrutiny from advertisers is charging an incremental fee for bleed ads. Once upon a time, publishers may have had real costs associated with the production of bleed ads. But today's printing and production technologies no longer require the press stoppages and plate changes that resulted int hose real costs. Condé Nast is one of the few remaining major publishers (Hearst is another) that has not eliminated these obsolete bleed charges, and ANA strongly suggests that the time has come to do so (end of letter to the editor).
More on bleed charges in the one page white paper – Are Magazine Bleed Charges Legitimate? ANA and 4A’s have reached out to Condé Nast on this issue numerous times since we published this white paper in January and all those requests have been completely ignored. Not even the courtesy of any response or acknowledgment. Meanwhile, Hearst’s response has been, “At the advice of our counsel, we will not discuss pricing policies in a group setting. So, we will take a pass on this.”
We encourage advertisers and their agencies to discuss bleed charges with these respective publishers (and any others that have such fees). Not only are bleed charges no longer justified, but they actually cost advertisers additional money as sometimes two versions of creative are prepared (bleed and non-bleed) and the agency time and resources spent developing that extra creative and negotiating reduction/elimination of the bleed fees leads to higher agency compensation costs to advertisers. Finally, if publishers have a legitimate reason to charge for bleed, let’s hear it—after all this is a blog and the dialogue would be appreciated.