Florence set for early grave as NatMags reviews G&J portfolio

Project Florence, the new magazine for thirtysomething women, is likely to be killed off following G&J’s acquisition by the National Magazine Company.

Project Florence, the new magazine for thirtysomething women, is

likely to be killed off following G&J’s acquisition by the National

Magazine Company.



Florence has a team of four sales people. Group ad director Joanne

O’Hara, who is responsible for the whole G&J portfolio, has also devoted

much of her time to Florence.



Officially, the project is on hold pending a review by NatMags’

management.



Late last week it was confirmed the October launch had been

cancelled.



Many in the industry believe Florence cannot fit into a portfolio

already containing She and Good Housekeeping, which serve the

over-thirties market.



The next window for a launch would be spring 2001, which would mean

Florence would compete with the debuts of Time Inc’s InStyle and Conde

Nast’s Glamour.



By then, BBC Worldwide’s Eve - which launches on 3 August and will

target the same audience as Florence - is likely to be established in

the market, making it a more formidable competitor.



CDP group planning director Pip Hainsworth said: ’I don’t think Florence

will go ahead. NatMags doesn’t launch hastily and it will want to wait

and assess the market after all the rival launches.’



The industry is also waiting to see how NatMags assimilates the rest of

G&J’s portfolio. Managing director Terry Mansfield has pledged that none

of the titles will be closed and he has given the go-ahead for Prima’s

re-vamp in the autumn.



A NatMags insider said she expected Prima to be sold with Good

Housekeeping, providing advertisers with ’both the Daily Express and the

Daily Mail of the women’s magazine market’.



Mansfield said advertisers unique to NatMags or G&J would be introduced

to each other’s portfolio. He is also keen to exploit opportunities for

brand extensions of G&J titles. However, they will not provide content

for new portal uk.women.com.



NatMags has taken over the lease on G&J’s Docklands office and Mansfield

indicated there will be relocation of staff. A G&J insider predicted

sales teams might be combined in NatMags’ Soho office, while editorial

staff move to Docklands.



It is likely that the uk.women.com team will also be based in Docklands.



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