GOOD HOUSEKEEPING: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Good Housekeeping can’t decide which age group to target, Lesley Mair reports

OK, so I’m not in the Good Housekeeping list of the 100 most influential women in the country. But then the joint chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi only makes it in at number 97. Maybe if they extended it to 200?

OK, so I’m not in the Good Housekeeping list of the 100 most

influential women in the country. But then the joint chief executive of

Saatchi & Saatchi only makes it in at number 97. Maybe if they extended

it to 200?



I have to admit it’s some time since I last went through a copy of Good

Housekeeping. Up until reading this November’s issue I would probably

have described its target readership as classic female middle/upper

England, with a bias towards ABC1 and with the ’average’ reader probably

around 40 years old and upwards. Yet looking at the latest issue I get

the impression it’s aiming for a younger audience, or part of it at

least.



The cover model certainly falls into the spring chicken category and a

dependency on lists gives it a more populist, downmarket feel than I

would have expected.



Yet there are still signs of the ’old’ Good Housekeeping. The five

friends in a feature on lounging around in style are in their 30s or

older - more the age range I would expect from the magazine.



Slightly confused, I popped up to WWAV’s media department and sneaked a

peak at the Good Housekeeping profile. It read: ABC1, age profile 35 to

54 and upwards. Much as I expected.



So could it be that a loss in circulation has resulted in the magazine

attempting to attract a younger audience than its core profile?



If you take a look at the advertising, you will see where the

advertisers feel it is positioned. Estee Lauder Resilience Lift -

’exactly the lift your skin needs to thrive through its forties, fifties

and beyond.’ Oil of Olay ProVital - ’especially for mature skin.’



While clearly still a flagship title for the National Magazine Company,

I have to say Good Housekeeping appears to have lost its direction; it

seems unsure who its readers really are. Or like all of us when we grow

older, it’s aspiring to attract someone younger.



Anyway, I’m just about to find out who I really am, thanks to 25

psychologist’s questions on page 239. ’Are you soft and easily led or

fiercely assertive with a tendency to roar.’ Hmm, I wonder what my

colleagues would say?



Lesley Mair is the managing director of WWAV Rapp Collins



Publisher National Magazine Company

Cover price pounds 2.50

Frequency Monthly

Ad rates full-page colour pounds 17,220

Circulation 370,436

Advertisers include Estee Lauder, Oil of Olay, Russell & Bromley



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