BMP and OMD win Heat spin-off task

Emap Consumer Media has appointed BMP DBB and OMD UK to handle the multimillion-pound launch of its women's weekly Closer.

The magazine, which will launch on 25 September, is a spin-off from the Heat stable designed to capitalise on the public's appetite for celebrity gossip.

BMP was not previously an Emap roster agency, but has worked on The National Magazine Company's Best title. Heat's creative is handled by Quiet Storm and Emap appointed Mother earlier this year to work on creative for the launch of the teenage magazine Sneak.

Closer's launch follows the success of Heat and rival magazines such as IPC's Now over the past year. It is expected to target older female readers in an attempt to avoid cannibalising Heat's readership.

The magazine will have a cover price of £1 and is launched by Ian Birch, the Emap Consumer Media editor-in-chief. Jane Johnson, formally the executive editor at the Sunday Mirror, takes the role of editor.

Louise Matthews, the managing director of Heat, said: "The launch of Closer has been built on the phenomenal success of Heat and our years of experience in the women's magazine market. It gives us a strong platform from which to launch and an exciting opportunity to develop our weekly portfolio."

Heat recently posted a 103 per cent year-on-year increase in sales to 478,924. However, the mature women's weekly sector is in decline.

Paul Keenan, the chief executive of Emap Consumer Media, said: "Closer reflects the commitment to launching successful magazines, but also illustrates our intention to reshape the women's weekly market."

Emap will hope that Closer will capture readers from IPC, which dominates the mature women's weekly sector with titles such as Woman and Woman's Own.

The launch of Closer comes as Emap faces the loss of its Elle title to Hachette UK, the UK operation of the French publishing giant Hachette Filipacchi. Before Hachette's purchase of Attic Futura, rebranded as Attic UK, Emap published Elle as part of a joint venture with Hachette. It is also in talks with Hachette over the future of the New Woman and Red titles.

Advertising to support Closer's launch is expected to break next week, although details of the creative are still undisclosed.

Emap currently backs Heat with advertising through Quiet Storm. It has spent £3.5 million on above-the-line advertising for the title. OMD also handles media for Heat.

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