ABC FIGURES: Cosmopolitan rallies while rival Marie Claire declines

Cosmopolitan appears to have won its circulation battle with IPC’s Marie Claire. Sales of the National Magazine Company’s title recovered over the six months to December after falling to just over 440,000 in the first half of the year, but Marie Claire’s decline continued unabated, down 4.7 per cent period on period as well as 9.1 per cent year on year.

Cosmopolitan appears to have won its circulation battle with IPC’s

Marie Claire. Sales of the National Magazine Company’s title recovered

over the six months to December after falling to just over 440,000 in

the first half of the year, but Marie Claire’s decline continued

unabated, down 4.7 per cent period on period as well as 9.1 per cent

year on year.



Overall, the women’s monthly figures show many of the established

magazines struggling - a pattern which continues from last June’s

results. By far the biggest rise year on year was posted by IPC’s New

Woman, up 23.8 per cent from 216,765 to 268,449. This continues the

upward trend of the past two years, following its successful revamp.

NatMags’ She posted the second-largest rise with a 9 per cent increase

from 221,481 to 241,460.



Emap Elan’s Elle, the highest riser in the first half of the year, was

also up, although only 3.8 per cent period on period. Growth elsewhere

was scant - six titles in the top ten recorded falls in circulation. The

top five titles remain the same as during the first half of the

year.



Mandi Norwood, editor of Cosmopolitan, said: ’The key to success is

being true to yourself, understanding the values of the magazine’s

success and sticking to them. It would have been easy to transform into

a ’ladette’ title as so many have, but Cosmo remains a true celebration

of femininity.



It’s a scary time for all magazine editors as the market is incredibly

competitive, but I am thrilled to bits.’



Chris Boyd, managing director of the IPC Southbank group, said: ’The key

issue is driving circulation upwards in a competitive environment.



The most important area is launching titles and brands. Woman’s Journal

and Options have needed an editorial focus, so we have brought in

Marcelle D’Argy Smith and Lesley Johnson to edit them respectively.

While Marie Claire’s sales are a little disappointing, they will

continue to evolve.



This market is extremely competitive.’



Nigel Conway, media planning director at MediaVest, said: ’Circulations

are like a rollercoaster - they go up and down according to who the

editor is and how strong the cover features are.



’Woman’s Journal and Good Housekeeping are in particular need of

rejuvenation - they will lose out to titles such as Red, which has the

same target market but is not hindered by an old-fashioned name. Red has

positioned itself cleverly in the market so that women can graduate from

Elle and Marie Claire into it. And New Woman has benefited from the

strength of the teen sector as readers growing out of the younger mags

find the switch quite logical.’





WOMEN’S MONTHLY MAGAZINES

TITLE               PUBLISHER     June-Dec 97   June-Dec 96     % change

Prima               G&J               540,727       565,051         -4.3

Cosmopolitan        NatMags           461,116       461,080          0.0

Good Housekeeping   NatMags           450,183       489,239         -8.0

Marie Claire        IPC               415,550       457,034         -9.1

Woman & Home        IPC               344,041       352,811         -2.5

BBC Good Food       BBC               323,837       393,633        -17.8

Company             NatMags           284,092       272,160          4.4

Family Circle       IPC               280,295       300,204         -6.6

Essentials          IPC               272,685       319,810        -14.7

New Woman           Emap              268,449       216,765         23.8

She                 NatMags           241,460       221,481          9.0

Elle                Emap              218,077       205,623          6.1

Vogue               Conde Nast        202,028       201,187          0.4

Options             IPC               127,772       146,692        -12.9

Woman’s Journal     IPC               121,546       134,929         -9.9

Harpers & Queen     NatMags            93,545        93,186          0.4

Tatler              Conde Nast         90,346        88,235          2.4

Vanity Fair         Conde Nast         85,454        83,245          2.7

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations.



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