MEDIA: YOUR LIFE - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. Clare Rossi picks up IPC's latest women's title, Your Life, and asks what effect, if any, it has on hers

For me, there would seem to be several problems with this new

magazine: the potential opportunity is likely to be illusory; the

concept behind it seems unclear and the 'product' as delivered is

patchy.



It is apparently aimed at ABC1 women in their 40s. IPC wants to capture

the women who feel they are too old for Now magazine. I believe it is

making the classic mistake of assuming because there is a gap in the

market, there is also a market in the gap. Undoubtedly there are a lot

of these women and they are attractive to advertisers, but I don't

believe this magazine will be sufficiently attractive to capture

them.



These women are the upmarket 'Cosmo girls' a few decades down the

line.



They have not traditionally read weeklies. It is possibly too late to

start teaching these dogs new magazine reading tricks. Most will be

consumers of quality newspapers and their attendant weekend supplements.

These inevitably cover a lot of the Your Life ground. The target market

isn't in any real need of a magazine to supplement what it is already

getting.



So the biggest problem is the lack of clarity about the concept. I am

not sure that readers will know what role Your Life could fill in their

lives.



We are offered some current affairs: 'This week' is a conversational

romp through some of the major news stories of the week. Then there are

lots of general interest articles, a wide array of pretty standard

magazine fare: celebrity gossip disguised as something else (in this

case an article about a famous Hollywood estate agent), health, travel,

fashion, food, problem pages and horoscopes.



There are also some more unusual articles on a diverse range of

subjects, such as why Manolo Blahnik shoes might be better than sex

(possible, I suppose, but unlikely), the parallels between Jackie

Onassis and Princess Diana, and drag queen Tupperware parties in New

York (my personal favourite).



Then there are more serious pieces such as an article about Kim Phuc,

the napalm victim so famously photographed in Vietnam. But what does it

all add up to, and why would a week with it be better in some way than a

week without it?



The tone seems to be too down market or condescending for the intended

audience. For example, we are given a recipe for minestrone. I doubt

that most readers aren't already up to their necks in minestrone

recipes.



All in all, it lacks excitement and fails to deliver anything new,

radical or different. Consequently I fear it will fail to deliver the

audience.



Publisher: IPC Connect



Frequency: Weekly



Price: Launch issue 75p, rising to pounds 1.20



Target circulation: 200,000-250,000



Full-page ad rate: pounds 6,500



Advertisers include: Procter & Gamble is the sole advertiser in the

first eight issues.



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