Zavecz slams agencies basing media strategy on SMI spend

By Sarah Homewood | 14 May 2014
Pacific Magazines director of magazines Peter Zavecz.

Pacific Magazines honcho Peter Zavecz will go nuts if he hears another media strategy based on Standard Media Index data.

Ahead of the latest tranche of SMI data, due tomorrow, Zavecz remains bullish on ad dollars for consumer magazines. He's adamant that they they won't experience anywhere near the declines of last year

Zavecz told AdNews SMI was "just one measure of magazine advertising revenue" and using it to dictate media strategy was "ridiculous".

“If I hear another agency has recommended another media strategy based on SMI data I’ll just freak out,” he said. “I just can't understand how media agencies can even stand in front of a client and talk about SMI data as a reason for channel selection.”

Zavecz believes that the conversation needs to be centred around audience. Magazines have audiences "in spades" across multiple platforms.

“You must look at audience data, and for us, for magazines, you must look and our audience data holistically,” he said.

“Sure people are spending more time online, we all know that, but they're doing it quite selectively and engaging with brands they trust online and those brands can be magazines.”

At the start of this year, media agency bosses told AdNews they expected a similar decline in spend for magazines in 2014. In Janurary John Steedman mooted a decline of 20% and yesterday suggested that may have been slightly toppy, but not by much.

While Zavecz might get annoyed with media agencies using SMI data as justification for spending strategies when it comes to magazines, the SMI data to March showed the decline in spending had slowed to 12.5%. The comparative year-on-year decline for the first three months of 2013 on 2012 was -18%.

Zavecz though, was unbowed.

“The audiences are still there, I think the movement of money from one medium to another medium has no bearing on the health of a product and an audience,” he said.

He said spend direct from advertisers was increasing, “Our non SMI revenue is around 25% – 30% of our total revenue pool, depending on the category.”

“We won't be reporting anywhere near the declines that are coming up overall. It (SMI) is just one measure of magazine advertising,” he said.

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Have something to say? Send us your comments using the form below or contact the writer at

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus