’Being different is not a handicap.’ This bold statement from
Courrier International’s international advertising sales manager,
Christine Jolly, illustrates the confidence of a unique weekly news
publication in France.
It originates hardly any stories of its own, but still captures a
wealthy but elusive bunch of consumers - the well-educated,
What sets the paper apart is the fact that its articles are almost all
lifted from other publications across the world and then translated into
French. This approach not only ensures a steady diet of foreign stories
with their own local flavour, but often brings a foreign perspective to
French domestic news too.
Sales of individual copies in Paris have soared, according to Jolly, in
the seven months since Groupe Expansion-CEP acquired the title and gave
it a facelift. Despite the serious news content, Courrier International
has a lighter touch than its competitors such as Le Monde Diplomatique
and, for all its density, the tabloid format is easy to read.
The title’s matt paper makes a change from the glossy news magazine
format or the formal look of French newspapers, while the four-colour
cartoons which illustrate most articles are an attraction, claims the
magazine, for its young, sophisticated readers, around 50 per cent of
whom are under 35.
Even better, Courrier International claims that more than 36 per cent of
its readers do not watch television, listen regularly to radio or read
any other news publication.
Instead, this educated elite browses through coverage from several
continents or regions arranged in separate columns in the magazine,
flicking through full pages of advertising for aspirational brands such
as cars, airlines and mobile phones along the way.
Since its inception in the early 90s, Courrier International has also
carved out a profile in other media. The magazine has slots on
television and radio shows where its editors are invited to comment,
especially on foreign affairs. It is broadening into other media too and
has its own Website at http://www.courrierint.com.
Total paid-for circulation 86,055
Total circulation 97,428
Subscriptions 67 per cent, of which 5,000 abroad
Individual copy sales 33 per cent
Growth in individual copy sales Oct-Dec 1995-96: 45 per cent
Reader profile AB+: 45 per cent
Income USdollars 60,000+: 24 per cent
Age 48 per cent under 35
Education University: 37 per cent
Total sales USdollars 14 million
Advertising revenue as a percentage of total sales 14 per cent.