Harvard Business Review Latin America, the first Latin American edition in Spanish of an English language magazine, is proving to be an attractive advertising vehicle for major US brands. Launched in November 2002 (see page 9, Portadatm, No. 1 January/February 2003), the monthly has already sold advertising pages to Mastercard, Microsoft, Chrysler, BankBoston, Oracle, IBM and American Express, among others.
HBR-Latin America offers pan-regional ads (circulation 55,000; CPM full page color US $225), as well as ads in specific countries including Mexico (Circ. 18,000; CPM US $361), Brazil (Circ. 18,000; CPM US $361), Chile (Circ. 5,000; CPM US $580) and Argentina (Circ. 5,000; CPM US $580), and from August on Central America (see page 10).
Ricardo Zisis, president of Santiago de Chile based Impact Media, which holds the exclusive distribution rights for HBR in Latin America until 2012, told Portadatm that some of these companies are targeting specific countries instead of using a pan-regional strategy. “In fact, some have
transferred a significant part of their Latin American advertising budget and decision making from Miami or another US city to Latin American countries, mostly Brazil and Mexico,” Zisis adds. HBR Latin America recently signed an agreement with Miami-based Charney/Palacios-Publicitas Latin America to represent HBR in the US, Europe and Asia through the Publicitas network. “At the same time, we are beginning to sell advertising for the English HBR global edition to Latin American advertisers,” Zisis adds.
Mexico, the main market…
According to Zisis, Mexico is HBR Latin America's strongest market. “Chile is also growing,” he points out, “as well as countries like Colombia and Peru, where we have been investing for the last few months.”
“We are now circulating at 50,000. With the launch of the Central American edition next month, that number will go up to 55,000.” In terms of advertising, HBR Latin America has been growing steadily. “We started by selling some 15 pages, and now we are selling around 26 pages every month in the different editions.”
…and difficulties in Brazil.
“Our biggest headache has been Brazil, which was stagnant last year from September until April. The whole industry has suffered. But since April sales are starting to pick up,” Zisis asserts. HBR's circulation/advertising sales mix is currently at 25 %/75 %. “As subscriptions grow, we will approach the 40/60 circulation/advertising sales mix we originally projected.” The publication is still losing money, but Zisis expects to reach profitability by the end of the second quarter of 2004.
Subscriptions are the magazine's main source of revenue. “On a monthly basis, we sell almost as many new subscriptions as newsstand sales,” says Zisis. Nine to ten percent of HBR Latin America's circulation is sold at newsstands, which puts its subscription/newsstand sales ratio more or less in line with the US and global version of Harvard Business Review (circ. 240,000).