MEDIA: ESQUIRE: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Apparently sex no longer sells Esquire. John Harlow didn’t notice the difference

According to the press release from the folks at Esquire, they have decided that enough is enough, people are tired of the herd mentality which has afflicted men’s consumer magazines, and what people really need is change.

According to the press release from the folks at Esquire, they have

decided that enough is enough, people are tired of the herd mentality

which has afflicted men’s consumer magazines, and what people really

need is change.



They talk of ’new, innovative cover design and content’ and breaking the

’sex sells mentality’. I took heart as I was beginning to suffer

masculine identity angst at how little I shared the nation’s passion for

over-stretched cup sizes.



Glancing at the cover, I immediately saw that, true to their word, there

was nothing saucy about it at all (unless you get off on Johnny Depp

illuminated by candlelight). Different to the pack then, but ’innovative

cover design’?



I’m afraid a black-and-white David Bailey shot is hardly pushing back

the boundaries of frontier land.



So, as to content? Thora Birch is in there. She says: ’I’d love to do

something really, like, nasty, a little seedy.’ Then there’s a feature

on internet sports sites and a review on Douglas Coupland’s new

book.



Both are staple fodder from respectably edgy fields.



I glance at the press release. Yup, it says something about ’eclectic

content’ and ’a sharper read for men, not lads’.



So I turn to Gail Porter’s piece ’Girls on girls’. Gail says: ’Boys are

fascinated by girls going to the toilet in pairs. And it’s true we all

do it. What’s the reasoning, do you think?’ This is not the ’quality

writing’ I expected. Flick on. The ’When I am king’ feature launches

with gusto into such brainboilers as ’How would you redecorate

Buckingham Palace?’ Oh god.



But then there’s something that looks deceptively interesting. Entitled

’Men from Esquire’, it’s the ’last great expedition of the 20th

Century’.



But it’s neither interesting nor great.



There was an article on unpublished photographs from Get Carter. But

they’re just teasing. Further on, it’s back to ’Hi I’m Randy - Why she

wants you to be her bucking bronco.’



I give up. Call me a lady-boy, but I think even the real men out there

are getting short-changed. Fine if that’s what people expect, but don’t

peddle it as innovative.



John Harlow is the managing director of Rocket



Publisher The National Magazine Company

Editor Peter Howarth

Cover price pounds 3.20

Frequency Monthly

Circulation 100,380

Ad rate full-page colour pounds 7,800

Advertisers include Prada, Sony, Mercedes-Benz, L’Oreal



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