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
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
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
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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