Publishing director: Debbie Gresty
Cover price: pounds 2.70
Full page colour ad (ROP): pounds 4500
Target audience: ABC1 men and women aged 25 to 54
It’s very much what you would expect: classy, well produced, excellent
photography and aimed at a very obvious sector of the market. For me,
the front cover of Conde Nast’s Traveller said all you needed to know:
an idyllic photograph, aspirational and utopian, highlighting the
equally aspirational lead articles, ’Guide to the Caribbean’, ’Magic of
South West France’, ’Five Perfect Safaris’ and ’Luxury Safaris - Worth
the Money’ (and you just know that they are!).
Interestingly, its sole front cover exclusive, ’Are Boeing 777s as safe
as they could be’, is relegated to the smallest type face, while the
most aggressive, investigate and controversial article doesn’t even
warrant a cover mention. This was the fascinating piece on the safety of
Eurotunnel, which actually featured an interview with the assistant
general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, who comments: ’By refusing
to segregate passengers from their vehicles I can only assume that
Eurotunnel has made a decision to write off a number of lives.’ Now this
is copy that would be very much at home in the Sunday Times but it
receives little profile in Traveller.
So is this just a slug of tokenism? Is it there, along with Boeing 777
story, to provide an ’edge’ to an otherwise appealing souffle of glamour
and exotic imagery. To be honest one can’t help but think that maybe it
is. After all, when one considers the Traveller recruitment campaign -
editor Sarah Miller from the Telegraph Magazine, Rob Ryan from The
Sunday Times, and most interestingly Paula Reed as style director, from
Harpers & Queen - the battle between style and substance seems one which
will require early resolution.
And therein lies its real challenge. Is Traveller different enough to
make you buy it if you are already sitting around with Vogue, Harpers &
Queen and Hello on your coffee table?
Remember, there are 10.5 million people who take package holidays each
year and an ever increasing number who travel independently, so
Traveller’s proposed settle down circulation of about 80,000 really is
niche marketing at its most acute.