Canadian Magazine Industry News
19 February 2009,     ETOBICOKE, ONT.
Family Communications to launch French-language annual for dog owners
Family Communications Inc. will add to its growing stable of magazines for pet owners this April with the launch of Pitou Mag, an annual, digest-sized informational magazine for dog owners in Quebec.

Trevor Baker, an advertising director at Family Communications who was also behind the launches of Dog Basics in 2005 and Cat Basics in 2007, tells us 25,000 copies of the new booklet will be circulated through about 160 veterinarian clinics in Quebec. The vets then distribute the magazines—which are customized to include the name of each individual clinic on the cover—to clients, usually as part of puppy kits. “It’s a great way to get a lot of magazines out into the hands of a very specific audience,” Baker says.

Pitou Mag’s content comes from translated versions of stories that originally appeared in Dog Basics, all of it written by veterinarians for a pet-owner audience. Editor Amy Bielby says the vets are easy to work with. “They’ve dropped the medical jargon.”

The advertising base for Pitou includes pet food, toys and pharmaceutical products. Baker says his weakness in French has made selling to some Quebec advertisers a challenge, so he’s relying on national advertisers who are looking to deliver a targeted message to the French-language market. Family Communications does an office in Kirkland, Que., that fields inquiries from Quebecois advertisers, he says. A one-time, full-page ad goes for $4,250.

The pet industry remains strong despite the recession, Baker added. “The effects of the downturn are not as severe,” he said. “People are still going to feed their pets.”

Contact: Trevor Baker, 416-537-2604
— M.U.
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