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SPH Magazines sets out to improve colour, ad processes - Dec 11, 2007 (ST)

BackDec 11, 2007

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH Magazines sets out to improve colour, ad processes

New initiatives to standardise colours, reduce risk of ad errors.

By Chua Hian Hou
Dec 11, 2007
The Straits Times

ONE of Singapore's biggest magazine publishers, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), has launched two initiatives to improve efficiency and cut the risk of error in print advertisements.

'The two initiatives will add value to our advertisers and raise the bar for the whole publication industry in Singapore.' -MR LOH YEW SENG, SPH Magazines chief. Photo/ SPH MAGAZINES

SPH's subsidiary, SPH Magazines (SPHM), which publishes over 90 magazines in Singapore, including the popular Her World and Home & Decor, announced a new SPH colour standard and an automated ad checking system at its inaugural magazine industry networking event last Friday at liquor retailer Denise The Wine Shop.

The two initiatives, said SPHM chief executive officer Loh Yew Seng, will 'add value to our advertisers and raise the bar for the whole publication industry in Singapore'.

Currently, the colours in SPH magazine ads are calibrated according to the publication's printer, said colour consulting firm Bits & Bytes Marketing's spokesman, Mr Samuel Lee. Bits & Bytes helped design the standard.

This means ad agencies placing ads in magazines published at different printers may have to recalibrate the ads each time to ensure each ad looks the same across various magazines.

A common colour standard, across all advertising agencies and printers, will fix this, said Mr Lee. This will ensure advertisers 'get predictable and consistent results' without having to recalibrate individually.

Use of this new colour standard will be mandatory for all ads submitted to SPH magazines starting in March next year.

The second initiative is the use of a software called Quickcut, which automatically detects problems with ads. It runs 286 separate checks on every advertising file sent in for problems ranging from the wrong ad size to whether the ink works well with the paper used by the magazine.

If an error is found, the system will automatically send an alert to the agency that sent the file. This allows it to identify and fix the problem quickly, rather than wait for someone to receive the file, open it and check if it is correct before sounding the alert.

The software, said Quickcut spokesman Mike Broadhead, makes for much more 'efficient and easier troubleshooting'.

The use of Quickcut is not compulsory, but SPH will offer discounts on the validation fees it levies for ads sent via Quickcut, to encourage advertisers to use the software.

Leo Burnett creative services director Florence Tan said the new colour standard will help it ensure 'a consistency in the colour reproduction of our SKII ads through all the different titles'.

Vibes Communications group managing director Desmond Teo hopes the new colour standard will 'eventually be the benchmark that other publishers will model after'.