Esquire claims best revenue for years despite circulation slump

Despite plunging circulation, The National Magazine Company's

Esquire has had its best advertising quarter for a decade, with ad

revenues up 30 per cent year on year.



The men's magazine, which was revamped last year to appeal to a more

sophisticated audience, may have suffered a slump in circulation of 39

per cent year on year (ABC July to December 2000), but its new

positioning appears to be drawing in more advertisers.



Tess McCleod Smith, the group commercial director for The National

Magazine Company's Affluent Group, said: 'Our actual ABC1 profile has

increased and we are now the most upmarket magazine in the men's

marketplace, with 80 per cent of our readers having an ABC1 profile.

Even though circulation has declined, our profile among the right

readers has increased.'



She added that advertisers such as Prada, Paul Smith, Armani, Helmut

Lang, Versace and Burberry have all returned to advertise in the

magazine.



When Esquire had a more laddish image, some of these advertisers shunned

it.



McCleod Smith acknowledged that Esquire must boost its circulation: 'We

do have to do some work on circulation this year, but our challenge is

more about attracting men who don't read magazines. We're doing a lot of

targeted third-party subscription drives with companies such as

Lastminute.com, Channel 4 and BritArt.'



Editor Peter Howarth dropped sexy covers more than a year ago to fit the

new image.



She added that NatMags would be looking to do an advertising campaign to

boost the title's profile in the second half of this year. Creative is

done in-house.



Esquire has also raised its media age to 29 this year, up from 27 in

1999.



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