Fiona Smedley sees much in Here! but believes it will struggle to meet its targets

Fiona Smedley sees much in Here! but believes it will struggle to meet

its targets

When I was asked to review Here!, I was relieved to find that my

personal copy had not vanished. However, that in itself is perhaps bad

news for Here! - the fact that it had not gone walkabout meant that it

had failed the office test -its stated competitor, Hello!, does not hang

around for more than five minutes.

My first reaction to Here! was that I could not believe my eyes. That

awful front cover with Fergie, when compared with Hello!’s best-selling

Fergie cover, only suggests that this magazine will never have the same


Mind you, if I was a punter, I wouldn’t know that Here! is Gruner and

Jahr’s response to Hello!, so I would probably love it. I’m sure the

first issue will be a sell-out but I think Here! will find it hard to

sustain its 70p price given all the magazines that currently cost about


I am encouraged by Gruner and Jahr’s aim of increasing the overall

market and, while it seems like a tall order, the title does offer

something different for readers and advertisers alike - what a bonus it

is to have a five-day lead time.

Here! is positioned as ‘the magazine that thinks it’s a newspaper’,

providing what it claims to be the reality, while supposedly leaving

Hello! to tell the fairytale.

Here!’s Peeping Tom style will no doubt appeal to the masses. However, I

am sure that it will struggle to hit its target of having 68 per cent of

its readers aged under 35. Even That’s Life, Eva and TV Quick only get

about half of their readers from this age group.

All in all, I think Here! will hit its 400,000 circulation target, but

struggle with its profile. As for me, I’m one under-35 who still prefers

the fairytales.

Fiona Smedley is the celebrity loving planning group head at Universal