MEDIA HIGH LIFE: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Is the aim to bore readers so they reach for the duty free, Alan Rutherford asks

Picture the scene. You are belted up in the aircraft, ready for take-off. Your laptop is stowed under your seat. You can’t be bothered to watch the safety procedure again (although the captain insists you should). Instinctively, you reach inside the pouch opposite for a copy of High Life.

Picture the scene. You are belted up in the aircraft, ready for

take-off. Your laptop is stowed under your seat. You can’t be bothered

to watch the safety procedure again (although the captain insists you

should). Instinctively, you reach inside the pouch opposite for a copy

of High Life.



This month is the 25th anniversary of the British Airways inflight

magazine.



Not surprisingly, there are special features reviewing key social and

political issues since 1973 and looking forward to the next quarter of a

century.



David Frost writes an interesting article about his ringside view of

political personalities. Another article looks at how feminism has

progressed over 25 years. But most of High Life’s features guarantee

that the reader will turn to the travel maps or the duty free. Now that

is an interesting marketing technique - make sure there is nothing worth

reading, so passengers are forced to browse the duty free pages.



The style and quality of the ads has changed little over the years.

There are still ads for DIY James Bond surveillance gear, serviced

apartments and the 80-foot cruisers we all dream about. Plus ones for

relatively obscure financial services, technology and hotels.



I find inflight magazines disappointing - High Life is no exception.



Littered with poor quality ads, with a fragmented layout, it makes a

very disjointed read. They may be ’free’, but I think more effort should

be made to produce quality inflight publi-cations. Failing that, give

the passengers a voucher when they check in that they can exchange at

the airport for a magazine of their choice.



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