EDITORIAL: FHM’s credit card needs to provide real benefits

By STEFANO HATFIELD, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 28 August 1998 12:00AM

When you’ve got a brand as successful as FHM on your hands, it would be negligent not to examine the potential for extending it into other areas.

When you’ve got a brand as successful as FHM on your hands, it

would be negligent not to examine the potential for extending it into

other areas.



After all, there are plenty of precedents in the magazine world, not

least those set by Cosmopolitan with its drinks, clothing and interiors

ranges.



But FHM is different, firstly because it’s a men’s magazine, but mainly

because of the area it has chosen to launch into: financial

services.



It’s a bold move, particularly when much safer options abound, including

that chosen by its rival at IPC, Loaded, which is to introduce an

underwear range. If FHM had done that, no-one would have raised an

eyebrow. But a credit card?



No details have yet emerged about the planned launch, but one thing’s

for sure: while FHM readers may speak enthusiastically to researchers of

their brand loyalty, they are unlikely to carry a new credit card purely

for the kudos. The FHM credit card will need to offer some genuine

benefits.



Whatever the other potential pitfalls, at least FHM has chosen more

wisely than the Daily Telegraph did when it launched a PEP scheme - only

to find that its advertising revenue from other PEP scheme owners dried

up somewhat.



Advertiser concern could be an issue, however, if Emap also carries out

its intention to move the brand into the holiday market. It’s hard to

imagine Club 18-30, for example, being happy about that.



The biggest danger with any brand extension is quite simply that it

might fail. If you slip up in a non-core area, it is bound to hurt your

core brand. It’s to be hoped, therefore, that those responsible for the

FHM spin-offs put as much energy into making them work as the editorial

and advertising teams have put into the magazine.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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