Success continues for Sugar

The fiercely competitive young women’s sector has recorded healthy rises for its top-selling titles, while the rest are continuing to struggle in their wake.

The fiercely competitive young women’s sector has recorded healthy

rises for its top-selling titles, while the rest are continuing to

struggle in their wake.

Attic Futura now dominates the sector with its monthly title, Sugar,

which has revolutionised the market since its launch in 1994.

Sugar’s latest ABC figure for the period July-December 1996 hit 456,939,

up 44 per cent from 318,053 year on year. The magazine is now selling

nearly 100,000 more than its nearest rival, Bliss, published by Emap

Elan, and more than some established women’s monthlies.

Bliss climbed to 363,286 in the latest ABCs, an increase of 38.3 per

cent year on year and 12.8 per cent period on period.

However, other titles in the sector did not enjoy such success. Emap

Elan’s Just 17 slumped 29.7 per cent year on year and 19.9 per cent

period on period to 130,030 a week.

These results were pre-empted by the publisher’s announcement last week

that it was to take Just 17 monthly in the wake of tumbling sales.

Looks was down 19 per cent both period on period and year on year to

179,007, while More! held steady, climbing less than 1 per cent over the

same period.

IPC also struggled in the young women’s sector, with Mizz and 19 falling

by 25.6 per cent and 13.5 per cent year on year to 138,381 and 187,740,


Chris Boyd, managing director of IPC’s South Bank Group which publishes

Mizz and 19, said the company was looking seriously at the sector. ’We

don’t like our figures going down,’ he said.

At the last ABC results, Boyd hinted at some fresh activity and

speculation is mounting that a launch is possible later this year.

Buyers also believe that Minx, launched last September by Emap Elan, has

had some effect on the market, although the publisher declined to reveal

early figures.

Steve Goodman, a director of the Media Business, said: ’These results

imply that Minx has stolen some circulation from more established

titles. People in this market are unlikely to have sufficient disposable

income to buy a supplementary magazine. They are more likely to

experiment with new titles.’

The resultant thinning out of the market could make buyers’ jobs harder,

as many of the titles have similar reader profiles.

In the pop TV teen market, BBC Magazines’ Top of the Pops jumped 142 per

cent year on year to 292,824. This puts it ahead of Emap Metro’s Smash

Hits which, after a bumpy period, rose 9.8 per cent year on year and

32.9 per cent period on period to hit 268,685.


Title              Jul-Dec 95       Jul-Dec 96         % change

Mizz                  185,878          138,381            -25.6

19                    216,959          187,740            -13.5

Bliss                 262,633          363,286             38.32

Just 17               185,081          130,030            -29.74

Looks                 221,480          179,007            -19.18

More!                 427,413          430,696              0.77

Sugar                 318,053          456,939             43.67

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations


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