Fashion titles surge; is it a trend or a tease?

Is it a bellwether, or just a cruel tease?

Word came this week that March is set to be a banner month for all the major fashion titles.  Across the board the numbers are up, and it has us hoping (again) that the magazine industry has turned a corner.

VOGUE* ad pages increased by nearly 4% over last March, with gains in all its core ad categories.  W MAGAZINE* ad pages are up an astounding 25%, the highest quarterly growth in the magazine’s history.  HARPER’S BAZAAR* sold an additional 16% over the same month in 2011.  GLAMOUR* saw a rise of 9%, and Time Inc’s IN STYLE* bested last year by 13%, boasting the most ad pages since it debuted in print 18 years ago.  Even ELLE* rose a modest 2%.

Great news, but don’t celebrate just yet.  Last March also looked full of promise, with ad growth and improved numbers for fashion glossies, only to lose momentum as the year wore on.

So, does this new development portend an upswing for magazines, or is it some fashion-driven anomaly?  No one can know at this point.

But a little cautious optimism can’t hurt.

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