The rebirth of IPC’s 60s style magazine Nova has been greeted by a
huge media fanfare and a cautious welcome from agencies.
Nova is aiming to become the trendsetter’s bible, combining cutting-edge
fashion with the sort of elements seen in style magazines such as
Wallpaper, I-D and The Face.
The title’s business strategy, according to publisher Elaine Foran, is
to extract high yields from fashion, fragrance and style advertisers who
are willing to pay premium rates for a niche audience of 70,000 to
A review of agency reaction to Nova’s debut revealed a genuine will for
the magazine to succeed. Optimedia’s head of press Simon Timlett said
his clients were very excited about the dummy. However, others have
voiced concerns about the long-term feasibility of the business
New PHD head of press Laura James believes there is room for a niche
magazine to fit in between Elle and Vogue. But she cautioned that Nova
would have to demonstrate it can consistently provide a unique
’Frank also promised to be a style leader but perhaps went too far and
became pretentious,’ said James.
’Nova’s first issue contains a couple of controversial features that
will grab attention but the product quality will have to be sustained in
every single issue,’ she added.
MediaVest client services director Nigel Conway said he thought the
overall trend is towards niche titles. However, he pointed out Nova had
entered a hugely competitive market. ’Vogue can command a 40 per cent
cost per thousand premium over Elle because it is seen as the fashion
bible. The question is whether Nova can establish a similar
Though sceptical about the premium-rate strategy, Conway suggested IPC
might have an ulterior motive for launching the magazine.
’The company intends to float on the stock market and might even be up
for sale. Nova is an opportunity to make the company look proactive and
add value,’ he said.
Initiative media director Ita Murphy said Nova was the most exciting of
the new women’s titles. She accepted European clients might pay a
premium but was more sceptical about UK advertisers.
She explained: ’We were told the print run for the first few issues
would be up with Vogue’s, so clients were happy to pay high rates. There
was also the fear of a missed opportunity but advertisers will drop Nova
if it doesn’t live up to its promise.’
Question Time p12.