Meredith’s NewFronts pitch: Brand-safe video, brand-safe video, brand-safe video

If you’re playing buzzword bingo at Meredith’s NewFront presentation on May 3, expect to cross off brand safety early.

“We have scale in video; it’s brand-safe scale. We think that’s a differentiator,” said Jon Werther, president of Meredith’s National Media Group, previewing the company’s May 3 presentation. “You’ll hear brand safety referred to throughout our presentation because it’s inherent to who we are at Meredith.”

The weeklong NewFronts are known for celebrity- and glitz-laden presentations from the likes of Disney and Condé Nast. Meredith, based in Des Moines, Iowa, and parent of iconic if unsexy women’s titles like Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens, hasn’t disavowed its wholesome Middle America roots. Its new slate of shows will be heavy on the entertainment, food, home, lifestyle and purpose-driven marketing themes.

The company also announced it would extend its existing sales guarantee to video. The guarantee, which has existed since 2011, promises that its advertising will lead to a sales lift, or the advertiser will get its money back.

The pitch comes as advertisers deal with fraud and other transparency issues affecting digital advertising, with some, including P&G, questioning digital advertising’s efficacy, period.

“We offer a lot of sizzle,” Werther said. “It’s always backed up with substance.”

Still, the proposal is only meant for the company’s biggest advertising customers because, according to Werther, there needs to be enough scale to measure whether the campaign led to a sales lift. It also is suited to advertisers whose objective is to drive sales, rather than an awareness or brand-building message. Werther said the company has run more than 80 campaigns on this basis, and — surprise, surprise — it hasn’t had to issue any refunds yet.

The company is fresh off its acquisition of top U.S. magazine publisher Time Inc. All that has piqued marketers’ curiosity about how the company will position itself.

Don’t expect to hear much about the news and business titles. Meredith’s prepared announcement didn’t include anything about Time, Sports Illustrated or Fortune, which are among the titles it’s looking to sell because their audiences don’t fit Meredith’s existing women-focused portfolio.

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