Media Lifeline: OK! weddings

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 27 March 2009 12:00AM

For years, OK! has fought million-pound battles for the exclusive rights to the happiest day of a celebrity's life.

July 1999: Celebrity exclusives had always been central to OK!'s battleplan against Hello!. But OK! ups the stakes by paying £1 million for exclusive media access to the Beckham wedding - circulation for the issue trebles to 1.7 million.

November 2000: So there's a terrible kerfuffle when Hello! gatecrashes the wedding of Catherine Zeta Jones to Michael Douglas - an event OK! had signed another £1 million-plus deal to secure as an exclusive. The couple decide to join OK! to sue Hello!.

October 2005: But you can never have too much of a good thing, clearly, and it's bonanza time when OK! finds itself with exclusive rights to three weddings taking place on the same day: Katie "Jordan" Price and Peter Andre; Kate Garraway and Derek Draper; Samia Ghadie and Matthew Smith. Each wedding gets a whole issue to itself except Katie and Peter's, which gets two.

June 2008: But there's nothing like a sophisticated footballer's wedding and Ashley Cole's wedding to Cheryl Tweedy, an OK! exclusive in 2006, is a case in point.Even better, though, is the union of Wayne Rooney to Coleen McLoughlin, snapped up for a cool £2.5 million in June 2008. But circulation has been a worry - down to 508,504 in the second half of 2008.

March 2009: But it is with great sadness that OK! hitches itself to Jade Goody. In an exclusive £700,000 deal, the magazine milks her wedding pictures across three issues. The first shifts over 1.8 million copies - Goody died just days after.

Fast forward ...

November 2009: Now there's distress and confusion when OK! contacts a host of celebrities, including Russell Brand, David Walliams, Cliff Richard, Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Savile and Anne Widdecombe, about signing up to an exclusive, multi-million pound joint "celebration of singledom" event, with many resenting the implication that they are permanent fixtures on the shelf.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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