The 4-Color Process Charge

I came across an interesting blurb in one magazine’s rate sheet for advertisers: computer printing makes the 4-color process only slightly more expensive than a black and white print-job. And, if the rest of the magazine is printed using a 4-color process, there’s really no reason to charge for the “labor” portion of the 4-color fee. Sure, it takes a little more ink to create a 4-color ad, but the huge “labor” fee that used to be charged is irrelevant in the digital age. What’s more, this particular magazine is using this as a cost-advantage in their value proposition! They will let you run a 4-color ad for the same price as a black and white ad.

This is pretty much non-existent in the other magazine rates I’ve viewed, so it definitely piqued my interest. It further piqued my interest regarding negotiations for rates with other magazines… if there’s really very little cost for them to create a 4-color ad for my company, they should be able to negotiate the price with more freedom. I know it’s probably one of those industry secrets that you’re not supposed to know, but one magazine chose to out the truth, giving them a leg up on pricing and trustworthiness. I think it’s a pretty smart play on their part, and I will certainly take a closer look at their stats when creating my budget for next year.

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