Media: 'My half-naked cover girls are better than yours' - Double Standards

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 29 October 2004 12:00AM

Between them, Zoo and Nuts created the men's weekly market. Their editors talk sales figures, the importance of a semi-naked cover girl and what is in store for the titles.

PHIL HILTON EDITOR, NUTS, IPC

Describe your editorial We work long, grinding hours, often

philosophy. without adequate light and heat, to

create a magazine that looks

effortlessly entertaining and varied.

What's the best thing about Really? The bit where Eric Fuller, our

editing a weekly men's mag? urbane publishing director, calls me

with that week's sales figures. After a

fairly lengthy career of ups and downs,

those numbers are sweet music to my

old, hairy ears.

How important is it to have a Am I sensing disapproval in the

near-naked woman on the cover? question? Nuts has the sexiest and most

exciting women in the world on its

cover, looking amazing. I doubt whether

they'd look nearly as good in coats.

Why do you think your magazine We treat our readers like the funny,

is better than the rival? civilised, sophisticated men they are.

We never patronise them or trick them

with false promises.

Is there anything you wouldn't Nothing that would make a reader feel

write about - where do you sad, ashamed or bored would ever appear

draw the line? in Nuts.

How have you dealt with the Weirdly, being the market leader means

fierce and very direct that you tend not to obsess about

competition with Nuts/Zoo? competition- you're really trying to

push your own targets. I think Nuts has

been the best-selling weekly by

concentrating on its readers rather

than focusing on its rival.

Why do you think the men's Both magazines give readers better

weekly sector has become value for money than they've seen

such a successful area? before and new content such as TV

listings and sport. It's rather like

coming across the first Starbucks when

you've been sitting in greasy spoons

for years.

Why had publishers not entered While the likes of FHM and Loaded were

the weekly market before? still growing, there was no pressing

need to find a new way to appeal to

men. Also, there was a lot of mythology

around men not buying weeklies. We're

good at mythology in magazines.

How many weekly titles can Strong, well-conceived new offerings

the market sustain? will expand a market that I reckon is

far from its peak. This thing has

hardly begun.

Why should advertisers buy Nuts is an enthusiastic magazine that

into your magazine? is passionate about the stuff it loves.

Good ads sit beside this editorial

content, looking part of a very of-the-

moment mix of exciting things to do and

buy. And, obviously, we deliver

absolutely loads of very hard-to-reach

men every week.

What's happening next for you? Hopefully, Nuts' success will allow me

to become one of those bone-idle,

figurehead editors. I'll turn up to

work every couple of weeks smelling of

port with an expenses claim larger than

the TV advertising spend. Oh, and I'll

have columns ... four or five lucrative

newspaper columns. Bring it on!

PAUL MERRILL EDITOR, ZOO, EMAP

Describe your editorial To give blokes everything they need to

philosophy. know about this week.

What's the best thing about Having a legitimate reason for poring

editing a weekly men's mag? over pictures of Abi Titmuss.

How important is it to have a It was important for us early on as it

near-naked woman on the cover? marked us out as a men's mag.

A pic of Wayne Rooney makes us look

like a sports mag, a pic of David

Walliams and Matt Lucas makes us look

like TV listings and cars and gadgets

make us look specialist. For now, it's

important as that's what readers judge

us on. As we get more established, who

knows?

Why do you think your magazine I think both launches were very

is better than the rival? successful, both have improved and both

titles have their strengths. Our

research shows that readers prefer Zoo

to Nuts by a margin of about three to

one and that's now showing through in

circulation. It would be in both our

interests to differentiate in 2005.

Is there anything you wouldn't I think Billy Connolly demonstrated

write about - where do you that there is a limit to humour.

draw the line? However, if you're afraid of

complaints, you really shouldn't be in

the men's market. We judge it on what

our readers would find acceptable and

never set out to offend.

How have you dealt with the By ignoring it and concentrating on

fierce and very direct what we're good at. I've got a lot of

competition with Nuts/Zoo? friends at IPC and I wish them well, so

it's never personal. I'm interested in

what we're doing and in the fact that

our sales grow every week and we've

smashed all our targets.

Why do you think the men's Because it offers something genuinely

weekly sector has become different from anything else.

such a successful area? No men's mag had done sport before,

none could be topical or reflect the

stuff young men are talking about on

the terraces and down the pub.

Why had publishers not entered Good question. Men's mags exploded ten

the weekly market before? years ago with the rise of FHM, but

people still doubted that blokes would

buy a weekly. We've shown that it can

be as much a part of their lives as a

monthly. We all lead weekly lives.

How many weekly titles can I think the performance of Cut has

the market sustain? shown that it's not as easy nor as

cheap as people think to launch in this

market. It's a costly area to get into,

which means I think publishers will

look at other sectors first.

Why should advertisers buy Because no other publication so closely

into your magazine? targets 18- to 30-year-old blokes and

is available every week. We've become

the most edgy and cool men's weekly,

where a lot of advertisers tell us they

want to be seen.

What's happening next for you? We've got loads of plans to make Zoo an

even better magazine and we're going

into 2005 in a stronger position than

we ever dared hope for.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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