Forbes had more than 4,700 pages of advertising last year. That’s
more than any magazine in the US with the exception of PC Magazine.
And this year Forbes is getting fatter, as it becomes one of the
magazines of choice for a plethora of new dotcom ads. With Christmas
approaching, online retailers are jostling for adspace more than
To help its readers navigate the mushrooming issue size - the latest is
328 pages - Forbes had a redesign last month. Bruce Rogers,
vice-president of marketing at Forbes, says: ’Forbes hadn’t had a
refreshing of its graphics in more than ten years.’
’They’ve made a real effort to make tabular breaks,’ says Dwayne
Flinchum, who runs Flinchum Incorporated, a corporate graphic design
company in New York. But overall, and unsurprisingly, he says, the
changes are ’pretty conservative’.
For there isn’t - and wasn’t - anything fundamentally wrong with the
title. Forbes has been very successful at attracting and retaining a
certain breed of businessman (88 per cent are male) who identifies with
Forbes’s slogan, ’capitalist tool’. He’s old, rich and high up in his
Forbes knows well enough where the economy is heading: its coverage of
technology companies is constantly expanding, and it has a very good
But it’s not a must-read in Silicon Valley.
Rather Forbes explains what’s going on in Palo Alto to the businessman
in Pittsburgh. The obvious way to read Forbes’s 3,000 annual editorial
pages is on the web, with its sophisticated navigation and searching
tools. But this readership, while certainly wired, is not going to
desert the print edition.
Forbes splits advertisers into two broad categories. Business and
industry accounts for 58 per cent of ad pages, while consumer
advertising accounts for 42 per cent. The big technology companies are
solid advertisers in the former category. In the latter, cars and
financial services are always there in bulk, and there is also a
smattering of luxury goods ( Rolex has the back cover of the latest
Forbes is ultimately very like its readers. It is good at what it does,
unapologetic about what it is, conservative and very rich.
You or I might find the ’capitalist tool’ line obnoxious, the profiles
of corporate CEOs boring and the layout conservative to the point of
But the average Forbes reader is around 51 years old and a manager at
the top of a company which has annual gross sales of dollars 1.4
FORBES FACT FILE
Cover price: dollars 4.95
Full page ad rate: dollars 64,490
Edited by Anna Griffiths Tel: 0181-267 4892 E-mail: