Campaign Targets Potential Investors

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Financial services companies seeking to target investors will have an opportunity to reach their largest audience ever through a special section in the direct response magazine USA Weekend.

The Smart Investing Guide, a pull-and-save section written by Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, Washington, will appear in the Sept. 20 issue. USA Weekend, published by Gannett Co., Rosslyn, VA, is inserted into 535 newspapers every Sunday and reaches 41 million readers. More than 18 million have household incomes above $50,000, more than 16.5 million own a retirement plan, and more than 13 million own securities.

Most of the advertising placed in personal finance magazines and other niche titles by mutual fund and brokerage companies appears in direct response format with a toll-free number and/or Web site address. Money Magazine, the largest such title, has a circulation of 1.9 million and Kiplinger's 1.1 million. The top five titles have a combined circulation of less than 6 million.

"For the first time, financial service advertisers have a way to get to millions more investors,'' said Robert Cilia, sales development manager at USA Weekend, which sells ads to direct response merchants such as Columbia House, BMG and the Franklin Mint. "Fifty percent of our advertisers are direct response already. This magazine provides an alternative channel to reach all those people in one shot.''

USA Weekend formed the marketing partnership with Kiplinger's to increase its base of investment advertising. So far, Cilia said advertiser response has been tremendous. The advertising deadline for the first Smart Investing Guide is July 20. The size of the section will depend on advertising, but Cilia predicts at least eight to 12 pages. The first section is being treated as a test and a second trial is planned for March 1999. Response to the two issues will determine whether the section becomes a regular part of USA Weekend.

The magazine has produced a similar annual pull-out section with Car and Driver Magazine for the last nine years.

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