The disadvantages of magazine advertising

Updated February 21, 2017

Magazine advertising should be a small part of your overall marketing strategy. Advertising in a consumer magazine allows you to target a specific audience for your products or services. For example, a fashion magazine geared towards women tends to be a good place to sell products or services that women will purchase. Magazine advertising should not be the only source of advertising that you use for your product and service. Focusing all of your attention on magazines can cause you to miss other segments of your target audience.


Advertising in consumer magazines can be costly. The cost for prime space in a magazine with a high readership can be too costly for start-up businesses and those with small advertising budgets. When planning your advertising strategy, you should have a budget for all of your advertising activities, including the cost of magazine advertising. The plan should determine the expected results of the advertising as well as the costs. The percentage of the budget that a particular type of advertising receives depends on the expected return. When you use consumer magazines as a part of your overall advertising strategy, you will use a large percentage of the total budget in a small business. This can diminish your ability to advertise in other areas. During the planning stage, make sure to include other methods, such as direct mail, television and radio along with magazine advertising.

Long Lead Times

In magazines, it is necessary to plan and prepare advertisements months in advance of publication. The longer lead time means that your target audience will not see your ad for months after you have committed the time and money to the advertisement. Events may occur that affect the way readers perceive your advertisement. In a small start-up business, the waiting for your ad to bring in revenue can be the determining factor between success and failure.


When advertising in magazines, you will not have control of the placement of your advertisement in relation to features and stories contained in the publication. This lack of flexibility can affect the way readers of the publication view your advertisement. Placement of the ad is essential to its success or failure. For example, an advertisement placed in the back of the magazine may not receive the same attention as those at the front of the publication.

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About the Author

Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.