THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Most-read consumer magazines in Europe

1. National Geographic

National Geographic consistently trounces all the usual suspects such as

The Economist and the Financial Times in surveys such as Europe 2001 and

EMS. It is one of the few titles to have been successful at masthead

programming, and its National Geographic television brand is also

expanding at full speed.

2. Reader's Digest

Another favourite read all over Europe and the most popular read in the

US, where an astonishing 43 million are said to look at it, Reader's

Digest has a seemingly unstoppable appeal. This year it also launched

research across readers in 18 European countries, which looked into

Europe's most trusted brands.

3. Playboy

The original men's magazine still sells well in Germany, although has

lost share in the UK where FHM, Maxim and Loaded are the traditional

triumvirate in the men's magazines market. Playboy is the most popular

men's magazine in the Netherlands where it has seen off competition from

rivals such as Maxim.

4. FHM

The most popular men's read in the UK and France, FHM attracts more than

three million readers in the UK alone. FHM has also launched a German

edition, a link-up between Emap and Attic Futura. In the UK, FHM's

latest ABC (700,000) is more than double that of Loaded (305,000).

5. Maxim

Maxim is now available in eight countries and this year attempted to

crack Belgium as well as Germany, a notoriously difficult market for

men's titles. It has been a phenomenal success in the US, seeing off

long-established competition such as Esquire. This year it also launched

a spin-off music title, Blender, across the pond.

6. Men's Health

Men's Health was introduced to Europe from the US where it is the

third-biggest men's title after Playboy and Maxim. Its no-nonsense

health and fitness advice as well as its trademark muscle men cover

stars photographed in black and white has won popularity all over

Europe. Men's Health is an especially popular title in the UK and


7. Cosmopolitan

Still the market leader in the competitive world of women's monthlies in

the UK with an ABC of 452,000, but only just. Glamour is beginning to

snap at Cosmopolitan's high heels with an ABC of 451,486. Yet Cosmo's

popularity overseas, in countries as different as Russia and Spain means

it is still the undisputed queen of all women's titles


8. Elle

Elle is a popular choice for international media buys, as proved by

Carat International's deal with Hachette Filipacchi Medias for Philips

across editions in the UK, France, Italy and Spain. The magazine is the

most popular international women's magazine in Sweden and it is a

long-time rival of its closest competitor, Marie Claire, in both the UK

and France. Elle is consistently extending its core offering with

spin-off titles such as Elle Decoration. The latest in 2001 was Elle


9. Marie Claire

Famed for its "reportage"-style features from around the world, Marie

Claire has lost market share in the UK this year where its circulation

has slid to about 400,000. In France, L'Oreal sold its 49 per cent stake

in the Marie Clarie group to Hachette Filipacchi Medias earlier in the

year for $80.6 million. Marie Claire is still a popular read in

the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Belgium.

10. Glamour

Conde Nast's handbag-sized monthly burst on to the UK scene this year,

imported from the US - where its readership nudges 12 million every

month. It also successfully launched in both the German and Italian

markets this year; in Germany it's already the most popular women's

monthly and in Italy it is in second place behind G&J/Mondadori's Vera.


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