Expert’s View: Vogue

High fashion meets a high ABC due to subtle editorial changes, Alex Russell says.

High fashion meets a high ABC due to subtle editorial changes, Alex

Russell says.

She is glamorous and stylish, associated with all the right people, and

now she’s increasingly popular - if Vogue were a woman you’d love to

hate her.

Vogue has reached its highest circulation ever- 201,187 - in the latest

ABC figures. Achieving any increase in a mature monthlies marketplace is

an achievement in itself. Vogue has never tried to compete in the

circulation war between IPC Southbank’s Marie Claire and the National

Magazine Company’s Cosmopolitan, yet it continues to get ’It girls’ to

part with their ’hard-earned’ cash.

Vogue has always been the ultimate coffee-table accessory and fashion

bible, yet subtle changes have turned it into a more rounded editorial

product while retaining the high ground on fashion issues.

This emphasis is not just an editorial one. The advertising sales

influence is now focused on fashion/luxury goods clients, while ad

revenue from the fragrance market has dropped. However, ads have always

been part of the appeal for the Vogue readership, so now we just have a

different variety of ’advertising clutter’.

One of my concerns as a media buyer buying into Vogue is the falling

proportion of readers from the ABC1 demographic. This is a common

complaint among glossy magazines. Titles such as Tatler and Harpers and

Queen have similarly seen their circulation/readership gains coming from

the oh-so-aspirational C2s.

With such circulation achievements, it is crucial that Vogue does not

become blinded by its own success in the same way some popular and

glamorous women do (mentioning no names) and price itself out of the

market - Vogue needs us as much as we need it.

Alex Russell is an associate director of CIA Medianetwork.


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