MEDIA: INSTYLE - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. The launch edition of InStyle in the UK would do well with more pizzazz

Since news leaked that Time Inc was going to launch InStyle in the

UK, I have been sitting on my hands with excitement. I've long been a

fan of the US version, having enjoyed its practical tips and voyeuristic

glamour.



The British version is very similar; in fact, the amount of articles I

had already read in the American editions was a bit disappointing.

Nevertheless, this won't matter to other, less obsessive, readers.



All the essential ingredients are in place: the 'get the look' articles

with plenty of fantastically decked-out celebrities; the down-to-earth

tips - in this case, finding flattering jeans; and the interviews with

celebs about their own style.



It all has a very mass-market appeal but feeds off the glamour of the

celebrities to make it appear more glitzy than reading OK! or Hello!



In the US the magazine stole a lot of Vogue's readers and advertisers,

and Vogue in the UK has been preparing for the launch by including its

own 'get the look' articles for a few months now. Somehow, however, I

don't think Vogue should hit the panic button just yet.



InStyle's UK version seems less glamorous and aspirational than its US

counterpart. This could be owing to its celebrity line-up having to

include some British stars, who lack the glitz of Hollywood. Somehow,

knowing what foundation Jennifer Saunders uses and what Charlie Dimmock

removes her make-up with, has less wow factor than what Jennifer Lopez

or Gwynneth Paltrow have in their make-up bags.



Some of the editorial content whiffed of having been put together in a

hurry: every other publication wrote about Madonna's diamond bracelet in

December, and I'm sure I've already read about how Sadie Frost and Jude

Law have their dirty laundry picked up for them in Heathrow. I would

expect, however, that these are no more than the usual teething problems

you would have with a launch edition.



Will it do well in the UK? Absolutely. It manages to bring something new

to the market. It's a fantastic read and you don't need to be a

millionaire to be able to act on its recommendations. It is what it is,

avoiding the trap of dressing itself up as an intelligent read.



The ads were few and far between once past the opening pages. But the

big guns were there: Versace, Armani, Calvin Klein, Russell & Bromley,

etc.



Its launch advertising campaign, by M&C Saatchi, has given InStyle a

mass-market positioning. For me, the advertising and the issue lacks the

glamour that is embedded in its American sister. This could put me off

the title in the long run, but it's likely to be a winning formula for

its circulation.



Publisher Time Life Entertainment Group



Cover price £2.70



Frequency Monthly



Print run 400,000



Full-page colour ad rate £13,000



Advertisers include Givenchy, Dior, Gap, Salvatore Ferragamo, Armani,

Calvin Klein, Estee Lauder.



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