Nicholas Coleridge, the managing director of Conde Nast, warned
magazine owners that the medium is in danger of falling into the trap of
During a speech otherwise filled with good news for the sector at the
PPA conference, Coleridge cautioned magazine owners to analyse how
closely their publications compare with similar titles in the
In an unofficial study conducted by Coleridge in the days leading up to
the conference, he challenged the editors of selected high-profile
magazines to identify spreads from 12 middle-range magazines, including
Woman’s Journal and British Airways’ High Life. Only 34 per cent of the
material was correctly attributed to its publication.
’Homogenisation can happen for many reasons,’ he explained. ’Where
editors and design staff move from publication to publication, the ideas
can go with them.’
Coleridge also blamed standardised Apple Macintosh software and ’focus
group culture’, where owners identify popular sections of rival
magazines, then emulate them in their publications.
He did emphasise that this sameness was the ’one cloud on the horizon’
for magazines, which he claimed was ’simply the hottest medium’.