Offering a steady diet of babes, beer and a heaped spoonful of
humour, the UK import, Maxim, is giving the US men’s magazines category
a run for its money.
Launched in April 1997 as a bi-monthly with a distribution of 175,000
copies, the Dennis Publishing franchise was dismissed by industry
Rivals declared that its laddish content and ambitious circulation goals
would put it out of business within a year. After all, Conde Nast’s GQ
was then peaking at almost 700,000 in paid circulation.
But men are snapping up Maxim. In less than two years, the president of
US Dennis Publishing, Steve Colvin, fired Maxim’s rate base up to
In 1998, its first full year of publishing ten issues, Maxim carried 630
ad pages, across 14 categories, including The Gap, Microsoft and
Beyond eye-popping cleavage covers, featuring celebs from Bridget Fonda
to Lucy Lawless, aka Xena Warrior Princess, Maxim focuses on the basics
- cool gear, grooming, sports and sex. While other young men’s titles
such as Freedom Magazines’ Point of View and Conde Nast’s Details have a
similar approach, it is Maxim’s ability to create a ’just us guys’
environment that has made it such a hit.
Much of Maxim’s editorial success can be attributed to its
editor-in-chief, Mark Golin, and his editor, Catherine Romano. Both left
Cosmopolitan to replace Claire McHugh in late 1997.
Maxim’s irreverence - Golin once sent a writer to interview Satan in
Hell - and, notably, its babe covers, are forcing the hand of its
Details recently made a lame attempt at cloning Maxim and failed
In typical Conde Nast fashion, Golin has been lured away to fix Details,
but must remain at Maxim until a new editor is named.
But Maxim had better not rest on its laurels. Emap’s FHM is expected to
cross the Atlantic in the autumn.
MAXIM FACTS AND FIGURES
Frequency ten issues a year
Ad rates for the first half of 1999
based on rate base of 650,000
Full-page colour ad dollars 39,000
Full-page b&w ad dollars 27,300
Second-half of 1999 based on rate
base of 950,000
Full-page colour ad dollars 57,000
Full-page b&w ad dollars 39,900
(1) ABC July-December 1998.