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
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
Ad rates full-page colour pounds 17,220
Advertisers include Estee Lauder, Oil of Olay, Russell & Bromley