MARCH 05, 2012

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Business
Affluents Drive Consumer Spending
A recent report in Ad Age covered the disproportionate effect on American consumer spending by Affluents ($100K+ household income). Among 142 measured categories, Affluents accounted for at least one-third of consumer spending in 112 of them, despite representing just 25% of the population. Affluents were responsible for 76% of spending on cruise-ship fares, 70% of spending on second homes, 66% of spending on men’s suits and 61% of spending on women’s suits. Spending becomes more disproportional as household income increases – households with incomes of $150K+ represent just 6.7% of the population, but 17.2% of all consumer spending.
So what? Condé Nast brands continue to be an effective way for advertisers to promote to affluent consumers and take advantage of the spending power detailed above. CN readers are 41% more likely than the average US adult population to have a HHI of $100K+.
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Lifestyle/Luxury
Strong Start for Luxury in 2012
Following growth in the stock market and evidence that home prices may have bottomed out, the luxury market saw gains in January. The Luxury Institute reports that sales at Saks jumped 10.5% and sales at Nordstrom increased by 5.3% in January. Both retailers exceeded forecasts and fared better than the average 4.2% growth in stores measured by Thomson Reuters. Online sales were also brisk in January; sales at RalphLauren.com were up 31% over last year, outpacing growth in its brick-and-mortar stores (12%). The strong start to 2012 follows a 2011 in which many luxury houses posted a solid year. Hermés reported a global sales increase of 18% and Hugo Boss grew by 19%.
So what? Following a holiday season that saw gains both online and in stores, many of Condé Nast’s luxury advertisers have maintained momentum in the new year. This might be the right time for some luxury brands to capitalize on the signs of growing economic strength and increase their advertising commitment.
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Media
Consumers Increasingly Managing Privacy on Social Networks
Consumers are taking more steps to manage their privacy and reputation on social networks. A new study by Pew shows that more people are raising their security settings, pruning friend lists, deleting comments and de-tagging pictures compared to two years ago. Women are more active than men when it comes to managing their privacy. 67% of women have their settings to ‘friends only’ while only 48% of men do so. Highly educated consumers find navigating privacy settings more difficult than their less educated peers. 62% of college grads reported some level of difficulty compared to 42% of people with some college or less.
So what? This report sheds light onto different demographic groups’ expectations on social network based information sharing and privacy. As Condé Nast continues to build out communities for people to connect, interact and share content, this report can serve as a useful guide on the tools that should be offered to allow users to manage their profiles.
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Beyond Facebook and Twitter: Tumblr, Pinterest and More
As Facebook rapidly approaches ubiquity, consumers are turning to new social media sites that offer a more ‘focused experience.’ Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram all provide ways for users to express themselves more creatively than in their Facebook profile or a 140 character tweet. A new report by eMarketer provides an overview of the stats on these sites, the functionality and the marketing opportunities. For example, Tumblr has about 30 million visits a month with visitors spending an average of 141 minutes. Pinterest has about 46 million visits a month with visitors spending an average of 88 minutes. The report also shows how companies as different as Huggies and Bergdorf Goodman are using Tumblr and Pinterest.
So what? Although Condé Nast doesn’t directly monetize our social media programs, there may be opportunities to use these as a springboard to create revenue. For example, we can use these as channels to drive traffic back to our sites or as a means to connect our audience with advertisers on different platforms.
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Quick Takes
American Idol Enables Fox to Charge the Most for 30 Second Spots During Primetime
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Diane Sawyer is America’s Favorite News Personality
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Pinterest Had Nearly 12 Million Unique Visitors in January
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Both Males and Females Trust Brands Far More than Celebrities, Politicians
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Contributors:
Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights