Denitsa Dimitrova: Bulgaria Magazine Ad Revenues to Hit Rock Bottom in Summer 2009

Interview |Author: Milena Hristova | April 29, 2009, Wednesday // 15:30|  views

Interview with Denitsa Dimitrova, Commercial Director of Attica Media Bulgaria, one of the biggest magazine publishers in Bulgaria. Major shareholder is the Greek company "Attices Ekdosis", which portfolio includes eighteen magazines published in Greece. Attica Media Bulgaria publishes Playboy, Maxim, Grazia, Joy and OK!.

Q: How have the policy of advertisers changed since the beginning of the year? Is there a downward trend in advertising revenues? When do you expect them to hit the bottom?

A: This is a wait-and-see period for most advertisers. Most of them want to see the economic and market conditions more stable and that's why very often they refrain from drawing up annual advertising budget plans. In my opinion, ad revenues will hit the bottom in the summer of 2009, but in the autumn they will start to rise again.

Q: How does the global financial crisis affect the circulation of you publications?

A: The magazines that we publish continue to enjoy the interest of the readers and that's the reason why there is hardly any drop in circulation. Let's not forget that the magazines in our portfolio are among the leaders in their segments. I expect, however, that the magazines that do not hold leading positions will be seriously hit by the crisis and will see a sharp drop in circulation.

Q: From which sectors are the advertisers who invariably invest in magazines and prefer them as an advertising channel? Which of them have tangibly shrunk their advertising budgets?

A: The advertisers that invariably invest in magazines are form the cosmetics sector, these are producers and importers of clothes, accessories and alcohol. There is a sharp drop in the advertising activities of companies from the real estate and financial sector, as well as among car importers.

Q: Do you see any change in the habits of the Bulgarian reader?

A: Bulgarian readers are becoming more and more demanding as far as the quality of the product they buy is concerned. A year ago they may have bought two or three magazines a month, but now they buy no more than two magazines. It is logical that they will select the best on the market and put their money in them.

Q: When do you plan to launch the Bulgarian edition of Forbes magazine? What will be its circulation? How will its content be compiled?

A: The first Bulgarian edition of the Forbes magazine will be on the market at the end of October or the beginning of November 2009 in 20 000 copies. The content will be made up of translations of foreign publications and locally-produced articles.

Q: How would you comment claims that the magazine market in Bulgaria is oversaturated?

A: The competition on the market is a good thing because this makes the high-quality products stand out. It is a fact however that there are many magazines on the Bulgarian market, which are not tailored to its needs and that's the reason why they stop being published at a certain point.

Q: Do you expect any bankruptcies on the market?

A: Along with the launch of new magazines, I expect the market to see what can be described as natural selection process at the end of this year and the beginning of next one. The weaker magazines, which have low circulation and are not attractive enough for the reader will stop their activities, while those that have taken strong positions and are leading brands will become even stronger.

Q: What measures does your company plan to take to offset the impact of the shrinking advertising market?

A: It is our aim to be more creative by offering diverse and unusual projects so that we may present the products and services of our partners and advertisers in the best possible way.

Q: Did foreign brands step a little bit late on the Bulgarian magazine market? Are there differences in the impact of the global crisis on the magazine market in Bulgaria in comparison with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe?

A: I would not say there are any differences. Talking about percentage points, the situation is very similar, the differences are only in terms of the size of the markets in the separate countries.


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