ABC Figures: OK! overtakes Hello! in women’s weeklies

The overall market for women’s weeklies performed badly, with Northern & Shell’s OK! and IPC Connect’s Now emerging as the only two titles able to boast substantial sales increases.

The overall market for women’s weeklies performed badly, with

Northern & Shell’s OK! and IPC Connect’s Now emerging as the only two

titles able to boast substantial sales increases.

As predicted in Campaign last week, OK! overtook its rival, Hello!, for

the first time with a 37.7 per cent leap in sales to 551,901.

This rise, which can largely be attributed to the enormous demand for

the issues that featured the wedding of Victoria Adams and David

Beckham, helped the magazine to leapfrog up the table from the

11th-placed title during the last ABC period to fifth place now.

Hello!, which held steady period on period at 495,349, has signalled its

intention to fight its position with the appointment of Market Force to

distribute its titles.

Although IPC Connect boasted a 12.9 per cent jump in Now’s sales to

396,303 and steady sales for Chat, it continues to struggle with its

older brands, Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman’s Realm. The latter two

posted declines of 13.1 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively year on


Linda Lancaster-Gaye, the managing director of IPC Connect, defended the

future of Woman’s Realm, saying: ’Rome wasn’t built in a day, but

Woman’s Realm is a profitable magazine.’

Despite a soft market, Lancaster-Gaye said IPC Connect is set to launch

a new weekly title later this year. She said: ’We have something that we

are putting out to research which will create a new sector.’

Commenting on the overall performance of this sector, Caroline Simpson,

head of press at Zenith Media, said: ’This was a disappointing set of

results with the market declining 2 per cent year on year.’

Verdict The performance of celebrity magazines continues to dominate and

outperform the more traditional titles, which are failing to increase

their respective readerships. Publishers need to take a long, hard look

at how they can manage - and, if possible, stop - the erosion of this

important market.

Women’s weeklies

Title               Publisher      Total ABC    Period on    Year on

                                                 period %       year

Take a Break        H Bauer        1,230,758         -2.0       -3.4

Woman               IPC              670,241         -2.3       -5.8

Bella               H Bauer          572,151         -2.2       -6.3

Woman’s Own         IPC              569,019         -4.1      -13.1

OK!                 N&S              551,901         33.6       37.7

Woman’s Weekly      IPC              547,953         -3.4       -7.9

That’s Life         H Bauer          526,845          1.1       -2.4

Chat                IPC              498,619         -0.7        0.2

Hello!              Hola SA          495,349          0.4       -3.0

Best                G&J              471,735          0.9       -5.9

People’s Friend     DC Thompson      412,570         -3.6       -6.0

Now                 IPC              396,303          2.6       12.9

My Weekly           DC Thompson      336,329         -4.2       -6.2

Woman’s Realm       IPC              179,345         -1.8       -9.1

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999)


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