CLOSE-UP: PERSPECTIVE; Puch fails where wallpaper scores with its marketing

All these magazine launches, you’d think people had been reading some of our stuff about now being the time to do it. Sadly, neither Minx, a Loaded for lasses, nor Eat Soup, a Loaded for grown-ups, has crossed my desk yet - I welcome almost any magazine launch that doesn’t have ‘PC’ or ‘Mac’ in the title.

All these magazine launches, you’d think people had been reading some of

our stuff about now being the time to do it. Sadly, neither Minx, a

Loaded for lasses, nor Eat Soup, a Loaded for grown-ups, has crossed my

desk yet - I welcome almost any magazine launch that doesn’t have ‘PC’

or ‘Mac’ in the title.



The relaunched Punch arrived with a whimper, reminding us all of why it

was closed down. I’d say it is disappointing, but that would imply that

we’d expected anything better. It is laboured, lacks relevance, and

contains the same old names, and even then - Peter Tory, Joe Haines -

not ones you’d want to read. Does anyone really give a fig about the

Colony Club?



I’ve always hated Peter McKay’s column in the Evening Standard, but it

made for compulsive reading and was never dreary. Perhaps, eventually,

he will build Punch more in his own likeness. For now, he will be

grateful that Punch is owned by a rich tycoon with a desperate need to

own media, and not a public media company. What did advertisers like

Bang and Olufsen, BMW, Ford, and Beck’s think?



Am I in Punch’s target market? Perhaps on an overhead projector a year

ago in Soho. However, Wallpaper’s got me bang to rights, and was a very

pleasant surprise. Devised by the 12-year-old Tyler Bržle, it’s aimed at

people who grew up on 80s fashion-related style magazines. Ignoring all

the usual pretentious drivel in the PR bumf, the pretentious drivel in

the mag itself is spot on.



A big thumbs-up for accessible features on architecture, plywood and

speaker design. Great regular ideas: the big trip, interesting and

practical food recipes and, best of all, the design-your-own-pad

feature. They can come up my stairs any time. My only quibbles were with

an eight-page feature on kitchen utensils which was entirely

illustrated, and a scary headline which sang out: ‘Death of the Two-Hour

Lunch.’ Sorry? Been in a restaurant at lunchtime recently? Also, will

the ‘travel’ bit jar increasingly with the ‘living’ bit?



Best of all, Wallpaper is a design-related magazine which is beautifully

designed, with refreshingly clean lines, legible typography and good

photography (the challenge of plywood was well met). Advertisers such as

VH-1, Habitat and Nissan Micra all produced stylish ads, and will know

exactly who is reading Wallpaper.



All this, and then the anally retentive Conde Nast has a funny turn,

announcing two magazines in a week. I’d feel warmer towards GQ Active if

the pilot editor had not been the very same sadistic gym instructor who

managed to put me off working out. As for Traveller (850,000 US

circulation, two ‘l’s in the UK), apparently Nicholas Coleridge had been

biked applications from 50 prospective editors within 24 hours. It’s not

going to fail is it? Exciting times in magazine land.



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