Conde Nast and IPC Magazines turned in a disappointing set of ABC
figures for the six months to December 1997, while the National Magazine
Company managed to improve on lacklustre figures produced during the
last round of six-monthly concurrent magazine ABC figures.
Bulk sales continue to play a significant role in the magazine
Conde Nast’s deal with British Airways added significantly to its
top-line figure, while NatMags bulked in excess of 10,000 on each of
Esquire, Harpers & Queen and She. BBC Magazines also got into the
numbers game, with the Radio Times reporting bulks of 22,868. Peter
Phippen, managing director of BBC Worldwide UK, explained: ’These are
part of our below-the-line marketing campaign for Radio Times, where we
wanted to get the magazine into people’s hands for six weeks.’
Out of a total of 63 IPC titles audited by the ABC, 45 were down year on
year. Directors for each of the magazine groups emphasised the need to
invest and focus on brand values for their core titles. Chris Boyd,
managing director of the South Bank Group, insisted that following the
recent IPC buy-out, backed by the venture capitalist, CinVen, there was
no extra pressure to close titles. ’In our portfolio of 68 titles, if
one or two won’t perform we’ll see if we can turn these around. There’s
absolutely no pressure on us.’
Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Conde Nast, which reported dips
in period-on-period circulation for GQ, House & Garden and World of
Interiors, expressed disappointment with the results. ’Up until now
we’ve had seven consecutive rises for all our titles, but we have bucked
the trend with this set of results and seem to have hit a glass
The National Magazine Company recorded period-on-period increases across
all its titles, while year on year it reported circulation dips for Good
Housekeeping, House Beautiful and Esquire.
Out of 83 reported titles, Emap hiked up sales on 45 with notable
increases on FHM (76 per cent year on year) and Smash Hits (62 per
cent). Emap Elan’s More and Looks, however, looked less robust, with
their circulations down 20 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.
BBC Magazines turned in respectable ABCs, but reported dramatic
year-on-year declines for Girl Talk (31 per cent), BBC Wildlife (21 per
cent) and BBC Good Food (18 per cent).
Attic Futura’s Sugar continues to dominate the teen market with sales up
2.5 per cent (period on period) and revealed an impressive first ABC for
its young women’s magazine, B, which leads its market at 200,334.