MEDIA: RED: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Under Red’s new editor, the title offers a better mix of articles

I was racking my brain trying to think of someone suitable to review Emap’s Red magazine - a woman who is about 30 and likely to read a magazine for pleasure.

I was racking my brain trying to think of someone suitable to

review Emap’s Red magazine - a woman who is about 30 and likely to read

a magazine for pleasure.

I realised with a bit of a jolt that I could no longer cling on to the

coat tails of Cosmopolitan and Elle and should face up to the reality

that I, at 30, am slipping into Red’s target readership.

The April issue is the first full issue under the editorship of Sally

Brampton, who was the launch editor of Elle. So I read her letter at the

front of the magazine to get an idea of what she is trying to achieve.

Brampton states that Red will: ’Use the best writers, stylists and

photographers and we’re going to be serious about it ... mixing in some

grit with the glamour.’

Well, there’s plenty of grit in this magazine and thankfully no articles

on how to achieve the best orgasm - the realisation presumably being

that if by thirtysomething you don’t already know, then you’re a lost


Red’s mix of features isn’t totally predictable, which makes a nice

change from most magazines. The profile on the actress Kristin Scott

Thomas was more lively than the usual heavily PR’d piece and I managed

to read most of it.

It’s evident that a good section of Red’s readership will be career

mothers, so the piece about male postnatal depression was outside my

domain but it was well written and interesting.

However, my need for articles with substance began to recede when I was

faced with features on home-buying hell, the internet healthcare

revolution and adults who dictate youth trends.

Skipping the sections on cookery and health and beauty, I moved on to

fashion. I recoiled in horror when I happened on an ad for Alexon (it’s

the sort of brand my mother would wear), but on the whole it had a good

mix of expensive and not so expensive clothes and plenty of slinky

little numbers to reassure me that showing some flesh is still


My verdict: Brampton has got a good sense of what women in their

thirties want, but she could give the editorial a lighter touch in



Emap Elan Network



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