Media: Double Standards: 'Tabloid journalists tried to steal my magazine'

Glamour's A4 format was the women's glossy sector's success story when it launched. Marie O'Riordan and Jo Elvin discuss what's next in the women's market.

MARIE O'RIORDAN, editor, Marie Claire

What is your magazine's Landing Victoria Beckham for her

proudest moment this year? first cover and interview after the

Rebecca Loos affair and having a

tabloid journalist trying to break

into our printers to steal a copy.

The scoop led to PR that equated to

millions of pounds of free

advertising.

Do you feel threatened by the You always feel the rather brisk

increasing weekly market? Do chill of new titles, as they are

you think this is an issue for invariably accompanied by the

some monthlies more than vulgarity of a ginormous marketing

others? budget compared with a more

established brand such as ours. Any

monthly that delivers a compelling

unique selling point, as Marie

Claire does, will be fine - any

that doesn't should be very afraid.

Do you think the concept of a It all depends on the quality and

glossy weekly such as Grazia uniqueness of the editorial

will catch on? proposition - just because it

hasn't worked before doesn't mean

it will not one day succeed.

How do you seek to By constantly recognising my

differentiate yourself from readers' insatiable thirst for

your competitors? information beyond their postal

code - and their love of shoes.

Do you think it would benefit At the moment, our readers seem to

Marie Claire to go fully like having the choice of both

compact? sizes.

What is the average ad-to- About 50:50 - (editorial is) never

editorial ratio in your less and sometimes more. It's

magazine? impossible to flatplan our

editorial mix without at least the

same amount of ed and ad pages.

How much is too much Any ratio that favours advertising

advertising and do you think over editorial is too much and, of

this would turn readers off? course, it alienates readers.

Unless your advertising is more

interesting than your editorial, in

which case you should probably

consider a move to the country.

What is the best thing about Working with a bunch of creative

your job? geniuses across a huge range of

subjects for very vocal,

opinionated readers.

And the worst? The lifts in King's Reach Tower.

What do you predict to be the You couldn't afford my fee!

big innovation in the women's

monthly market next year?

JO ELVIN, editor, Glamour

What is your magazine's We have had several great moments

proudest moment this year? this year, most notably our first-

ever Women of the Year Awards held

in June. It was star-studded and

generated £2 million of

publicity, including a mention on

the Late Night with Conan O'Brien

show in the US. We have also had

some great covers that have

generated a lot of comment, such as

Rachel Stevens (naked but for a few

well-placed daisies) and Geri

Halliwell (modestly draped behind a

chiffon scarf). And we became the

first UK women's monthly magazine

ever to break through the 600,000

circulation barrier. All in all,

not too shabby.

Do you feel threatened by the No, I think weekly and monthly

increasing weekly market? Do magazines perform very different

you think this is an issue for functions. I think each format can

some monthlies more than do things that the other one can't.

others?

Do you think the concept of a Like everyone else, I'm really

glossy weekly such as Grazia interested to know the answer to

will catch on? that. I think the pressure will

quickly be on it to appeal more to

the tabloid sensibilities of this

market, so it will be interesting

to see how it meets the challenge

of doing that while staying glossy.

How do you seek to In every way possible. We work very

differentiate yourself from hard at making sure Glamour's

your competitors? content is the best of everything -

I think our numbers show we're

hitting the right note there.

Do you think it would benefit Without knowing how that's working

Marie Claire to go fully out for them, I will say that what

compact? seems to be lost on publishers

jumping on the Glamour bandwagon is

that our success came from

innovation, not imitation.

What is the average ad-to- Glamour averages about 45 per cent

editorial ratio in your ads to 55 per cent editorial, which

magazine? is very good in comparison to our

competitors. We invest heavily in

extra editorial pages to maintain a

good-value balance.

How much is too much Too much advertising would be when

advertising and do you think it exceeds editorial content and,

this would turn readers off? yes, of course if readers feel they

have just paid for more ads than

editorial, then they would be

rightly very annoyed.

What is the best thing about It's too difficult to pick the

your job? overall best thing - it's a dream

come true of a job. I would say

probably generating ideas with the

rest of the team - it's a constant

process and one that we all enjoy

doing together. Of course, there's

also the sheer variety of my job -

one day it's sitting at my desk

reading proofs, the next I'm off to

New York for a cover shoot.

And the worst? All the admin stuff that I didn't

really factor into my dream of

becoming a magazine editor - no-one

aspires to do this job because they

love managing budgets!

What do you predict to be the Easy Living, of course! Watch this

big innovation in the women's space.

monthly market next year?

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