Media: Double Standards: 'Tabloid journalists tried to steal my magazine'
campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 10 December 2004 12:00AM
Glamour's A4 format was the women's glossy sector's success story when it launched. Marie O'Riordan and Jo Elvin discuss what's next in the women's market.
MARIE O'RIORDAN, editor, Marie Claire
What is your magazine's Landing Victoria Beckham for her
proudest moment this year? first cover and interview after the
Rebecca Loos affair and having a
tabloid journalist trying to break
into our printers to steal a copy.
The scoop led to PR that equated to
millions of pounds of free
Do you feel threatened by the You always feel the rather brisk
increasing weekly market? Do chill of new titles, as they are
you think this is an issue for invariably accompanied by the
some monthlies more than vulgarity of a ginormous marketing
others? budget compared with a more
established brand such as ours. Any
monthly that delivers a compelling
unique selling point, as Marie
Claire does, will be fine - any
that doesn't should be very afraid.
Do you think the concept of a It all depends on the quality and
glossy weekly such as Grazia uniqueness of the editorial
will catch on? proposition - just because it
hasn't worked before doesn't mean
it will not one day succeed.
How do you seek to By constantly recognising my
differentiate yourself from readers' insatiable thirst for
your competitors? information beyond their postal
code - and their love of shoes.
Do you think it would benefit At the moment, our readers seem to
Marie Claire to go fully like having the choice of both
What is the average ad-to- About 50:50 - (editorial is) never
editorial ratio in your less and sometimes more. It's
magazine? impossible to flatplan our
editorial mix without at least the
same amount of ed and ad pages.
How much is too much Any ratio that favours advertising
advertising and do you think over editorial is too much and, of
this would turn readers off? course, it alienates readers.
Unless your advertising is more
interesting than your editorial, in
which case you should probably
consider a move to the country.
What is the best thing about Working with a bunch of creative
your job? geniuses across a huge range of
subjects for very vocal,
And the worst? The lifts in King's Reach Tower.
What do you predict to be the You couldn't afford my fee!
big innovation in the women's
monthly market next year?
JO ELVIN, editor, Glamour
What is your magazine's We have had several great moments
proudest moment this year? this year, most notably our first-
ever Women of the Year Awards held
in June. It was star-studded and
generated £2 million of
publicity, including a mention on
the Late Night with Conan O'Brien
show in the US. We have also had
some great covers that have
generated a lot of comment, such as
Rachel Stevens (naked but for a few
well-placed daisies) and Geri
Halliwell (modestly draped behind a
chiffon scarf). And we became the
first UK women's monthly magazine
ever to break through the 600,000
circulation barrier. All in all,
not too shabby.
Do you feel threatened by the No, I think weekly and monthly
increasing weekly market? Do magazines perform very different
you think this is an issue for functions. I think each format can
some monthlies more than do things that the other one can't.
Do you think the concept of a Like everyone else, I'm really
glossy weekly such as Grazia interested to know the answer to
will catch on? that. I think the pressure will
quickly be on it to appeal more to
the tabloid sensibilities of this
market, so it will be interesting
to see how it meets the challenge
of doing that while staying glossy.
How do you seek to In every way possible. We work very
differentiate yourself from hard at making sure Glamour's
your competitors? content is the best of everything -
I think our numbers show we're
hitting the right note there.
Do you think it would benefit Without knowing how that's working
Marie Claire to go fully out for them, I will say that what
compact? seems to be lost on publishers
jumping on the Glamour bandwagon is
that our success came from
innovation, not imitation.
What is the average ad-to- Glamour averages about 45 per cent
editorial ratio in your ads to 55 per cent editorial, which
magazine? is very good in comparison to our
competitors. We invest heavily in
extra editorial pages to maintain a
How much is too much Too much advertising would be when
advertising and do you think it exceeds editorial content and,
this would turn readers off? yes, of course if readers feel they
have just paid for more ads than
editorial, then they would be
rightly very annoyed.
What is the best thing about It's too difficult to pick the
your job? overall best thing - it's a dream
come true of a job. I would say
probably generating ideas with the
rest of the team - it's a constant
process and one that we all enjoy
doing together. Of course, there's
also the sheer variety of my job -
one day it's sitting at my desk
reading proofs, the next I'm off to
New York for a cover shoot.
And the worst? All the admin stuff that I didn't
really factor into my dream of
becoming a magazine editor - no-one
aspires to do this job because they
love managing budgets!
What do you predict to be the Easy Living, of course! Watch this
big innovation in the women's space.
monthly market next year?
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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