THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best Customer Magazines

campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 17 December 2002 12:00AM

1. ARMY (HAYMARKET)

Winner of Best Customer Magazine at the APA Awards, Army magazine is part of the British Army's plan to talk regularly to the 100,000 13- to 17-year-olds interested in joining up as a career. It informs teenagers about the range of career opportunities available in the Army and was introduced to play a major role in future recruitment as the Army tries to attract as wide a variety of applicants as possible.

2. TATE (CONDE NAST)

Newly launched by Conde Nast, the magazine for Tate Gallery combines cutting-edge production with high quality paper that makes it feel expensive. Selling for a hefty £4 on newsstands or available to Tate members, the magazine combines information and discussion about Tate exhibits, along with features on the wider artistic landscape. It aims to build awareness and traffic to the Tate exhibitions, while writing with authority about current issues.

3. WAITROSE FOOD ILLUSTRATED (JOHN BROWN CITRUS PUBLISHING)

Free to Waitrose and John Lewis card holders, Food Illustrated won Best Consumer Retail Magazine at the APA Awards. It combines sumptuous photography of the food featured, while offering strong restaurant reviews and recipe sections. The magazine acts as a loyalty device while being in keeping with the Waitrose reputation for quality.

4. BUSINESS LIFE (CEDAR)

Business Life, which won Best Travel Magazine at the APA Awards, and its sister title, High Life, deliver consistently high standards. While High Life boasts writers including Will Self, Business Life targets business travellers with a mixture of profiles on business and sports people together with news and analysis. The editor, Alex Finer, was named Best Editor at the APA Awards. In the bitter battle for business fliers, Business Life provides an edge over rival titles.

5. VOLVO MAGAZINE (REDWOOD)

Volvo Magazine combines glossy photography of vehicles with copy that avoids the usual marketing cliches. Its lifestyle features are strong and even the Volvo-related content takes more quirky angles. The magazine's redesign earlier this year was overseen by the APA Designer of the Year, Lynn Watt. It is produced three times a year and reaches 1.2 million customers in 12 languages. Its main role is to encourage customer loyalty.

6. SKY (JOHN BROWN CITRUS PUBLISHING)

Recently relaunched, the new Sky customer magazine eschews the usual listings format for a focus on celebrity interviews and information on the most exciting programming on the Sky platform. Production values have improved and as both a loyalty magazine and an information point on programming and products, it works well. The magazine has secured a series of high-profile cover stars to provide a soupcon of glitter.

7. HARVEY NICHOLS (REDWOOD)

A touch of glamour from Redwood. While it should be relatively easy to make a magazine for Harvey Nichols look elegant, it manages to create fashion spreads and features that wouldn't look out of place in a newsstand glossy.

8. ROYAL MAIL RESPONSE (AMD BRASS TACKS)

Response, which was named Best Business-to-Business Magazine at the APA Awards, pulls off the tricky task of informing a wide-ranging business audience of Royal Mail's varied services. Its glossy cover design is a step forward for Royal Mail and its range of features stops short of selling services in too obvious a fashion. There is a genuine need to increase awareness of the Royal Mail's activities and this magazine does this well.

9. REUTERS (REDWOOD)

One of the best business-to-business titles around, Reuter's bi-monthly title takes the approach of combining business analysis and features with commentary and reports on wider global events. Its design is clean and, with Reuters' high level of editorial resource, it delivers a strong service for readers.

10. HOTLINE (John Brown Citrus Publishing)

Virgin Trains' customer magazine is surprisingly good, given the performance of its trains. Featuring high-profile celebrity interviews, good contributors and strong production values, it manages to keep readers interested for at least part of the delayed haul to Manchester.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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