I admit it. I’m not a Company reader. Indeed, I must be a
publisher’s worst nightmare. I check out all the publications from the
trendy through to the serious end of the magazine market - but I
subscribe to none.
The only titles I purchase regularly are Dazed and Confused and Sleaze
Nation, although The Face occasionally tempts me - which is why, I
think, I don’t like Company.
My initial reaction to the magazine was surprise - it’s actually 21
years old. Yet it seems so, well, young. I don’t remember it from my
youth in the way that I do The Face or Elle - to be honest, I don’t
remember it at all.
My second feeling was annoyance because it was so patronising,
particularly the cover feature, ’The 21 hottest Brits of the 21st
With Britain’s under-30s making international headlines for creating
companies that list on the stock market before they’ve paid off their
student loans, the only inspiration Company could find for young women
was a selection of one-time soap stars, presenters on children’s TV, and
an actress who went from the dizzy heights of starring in Trainspotting
to baring her pits in a terrible ad for an anti-perspirant.
I can understand that the feature needed a bit of glamour for the front
cover and some celebrity content, but I’m sure it was a disappointment
for most readers.
However, Company redeemed itself a little with a feature on careers and
one on alcohol abuse, which I’m sure its readers found much more
interesting than Patsy Palmer’s party nightmares.
Unsurprisingly, the ads were the usual women’s magazine array with
perfume and toiletries making up the most pages.
All in all, Company seems lost. It appears to be neither a women’s
interest magazine nor a fashion title. It lacks the bite of its sister
magazine, Cosmopolitan, yet also lacks the fashion insight of Elle.
The issue facing the editorial team is to decide whether it wants to be
fashion or interest-based and stick to it.
Company has the potential for either, but not both.
Mairi Clark is Campaign’s Diary editor.