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
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
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.