ABC FIGURES: Lads’ titles leave others behind

The men’s magazine market looks set for a burst of launch activity, as IPC confirmed this week its plans to unveil a rival to Emap Metro’s FHM (Campaign, 6 February).

The men’s magazine market looks set for a burst of launch activity,

as IPC confirmed this week its plans to unveil a rival to Emap Metro’s

FHM (Campaign, 6 February).

Andy McDuff, managing director for music and sport at IPC, would not be

drawn on details, but acknowledged: ’It’s obvious that we are looking at

different ways of entering the market, but not before the summer and we

don’t want to water down and change Loaded to grab sales at any


Nigel Conway, director in charge of planning at MediaVest, said: ’IPC is

in a buoyant mood. Having started Loaded, it obviously feels it’s time

for a product with more attitude.’

Circulations in the men’s market continued to polarise over the six

months to December 1997 as FHM and Loaded shifted up another gear,

leaving the older men’s titles stagnating at around the 100,000 mark. GQ

Active recorded a first six-month certificate of 64,381, just below the

title’s launch target figure of 70,000.

While Loaded only stood 40,000 copies behind FHM in last year’s June to

December ABCs, the gap has now widened to more than 200,000.

Meanwhile, an impressive 65 per cent year-on-year hike enabled Dennis

Publishing’s Maxim to leap above Men’s Health to take third place.

Peter Magnani, the deputy media director at Western International Media,

said: ’People keep predicting that these titles have reached their peaks

but they just keep on growing. The fact that we now have magazines as

different as Arena and FHM helps our planning as we can target audiences

more discretely.’

However, some buyers did express concern over the number of advertising

pages being carried in the most successful men’s magazines, particularly

in the autumn issues.

Magnani, who looks after the IDV account at Western International Media,

said: ’In order to avoid clutter, we only use outside-back covers and

fireplaces with Smirnoff. We have become part of the magazine by taking

consistent positions so that we own a particular site.’


TITLE               PUBLISHER     June-Dec 97   June-Dec 96     % change

FHM                 Emap              644,110       365,341         76.3

Loaded              IPC               441,567       323,115         36.7

Maxim               Dennis            249,096       150,261         65.8

Men’s Health        Rodale Press      225,126       158,956         41.6

Sky Magazine        Emap              186,961       164,731         13.5

GQ                  Conde Nast        129,294       148,574        -13.0

Esquire             NatMags           106,203       111,007         -4.3

The Face            Wagadon           100,744       113,028        -10.9

Arena               Wagadon            86,922        86,850          0.1

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations.