Coleridge warns of repetition of ideas in consumer sector

Nicholas Coleridge, the managing director of Conde Nast, warned magazine owners that the medium is in danger of falling into the trap of homogenisation.

Nicholas Coleridge, the managing director of Conde Nast, warned

magazine owners that the medium is in danger of falling into the trap of

homogenisation.



During a speech otherwise filled with good news for the sector at the

PPA conference, Coleridge cautioned magazine owners to analyse how

closely their publications compare with similar titles in the

marketplace.



In an unofficial study conducted by Coleridge in the days leading up to

the conference, he challenged the editors of selected high-profile

magazines to identify spreads from 12 middle-range magazines, including

Woman’s Journal and British Airways’ High Life. Only 34 per cent of the

material was correctly attributed to its publication.



’Homogenisation can happen for many reasons,’ he explained. ’Where

editors and design staff move from publication to publication, the ideas

can go with them.’



Coleridge also blamed standardised Apple Macintosh software and ’focus

group culture’, where owners identify popular sections of rival

magazines, then emulate them in their publications.



He did emphasise that this sameness was the ’one cloud on the horizon’

for magazines, which he claimed was ’simply the hottest medium’.



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