Grazia hands out launch briefs

Fallon and OMD UK pick up the £12m creative and media launch tasks for Emap's new weekly glossy.

Fallon and OMD UK have won the £12 million creative and media launch briefs for Emap's weekly glossy women's magazine, Grazia.

The two agencies have a brief to help the title reach a weekly sales target of 150,000 copies when it launches next spring. It marks Emap's biggest launch investment to date: the publisher is putting £16 million behind the title.

Grazia, which will be published on licence from the Italian publisher Mondadori, is designed to provide a mix of fashion, style and celebrity.

The launch team will be led by the managing director, David Davies, a former FHM editor, and the editor-in-chief, Fiona McIntosh, who has edited women's titles including Elle and Company.

There has been speculation about women's launches from Emap's Elan division since the publisher lost control of two of its flagship women's glossy titles, Red and Elle, to the French publishing company Hachette Filipacchi in 2002. McIntosh has been linked with various Elan projects and is understood to have been working on launch ideas for the past two years.

Paul Keenan, the chief executive of Emap Consumer Media, said: "Grazia will grow the market and bring something new to readers and advertisers. It will be a key part of ECM's magazine portfolio complementing Heat, Closer, New Woman and more."

Designed to appeal to 25- to 35-year-old ABC1 women, the title is being positioned to take on upmarket weeklies including Hello! and OK! as well as the quality newspaper supplements, such as Associated Newspapers' You.

Alex Randell, the press director at Vizeum, said: "There is clearly a gap in the market here, but Grazia's success will hinge on cover price and pagination. In the UK, weeklies use more populist editorial to get higher circulation and if it is going for a pure-fashion glossy it will have to resist the temptation to dumb down to reach the mass market."

Grazia was launched as Italy's first women's magazine in 1938 and is regarded as one of Europe's leading fashion weeklies. It sells an average of 245,000 copies a week.

However, another agency press director warned: "Just because it works in Italy does not mean it will automatically work over here. The Italian market is very different. H Bauer's Real attempted a glossy title with weekly content and this really struggled."

Magnus Djaba, the account director at Fallon, disputed this. He said: "Grazia is one of those launches that just makes sense from every perspective. We're looking forward to creating some great work that does the magazine justice in a number of different media channels."

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