MEDIA: YOUR LIFE - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. Dee Chalmers demands better trivia and a clear identity from IPC's relaunched title, Your Life

What a good idea - a glossy weekly magazine that rises above the

regular women's weeklies, with a mix of celebrity news, current affairs,

health issues, fashion and real-life stories. Sort of OK! crossed with

Marie Claire, with a splash of The Guardian's Editor. Something clever

and light for smart women of a certain age.

IPC first launched Your Life six months ago. Old faithfuls such as

Woman's Realm had gone, and every weekly magazine seemed to be

celebrity-obsessed, with OK!, Hello, Now and Heat all competing for

female attention.

But something was clearly not working with this apparently fresh take on

weekly women's magazines - Your Life has just been relaunched, backed by

a national radio and press campaign through Roose & Partners. The paper

is glossier and the concept clarified, with the tagline "The Weekly That

Thinks Like a Monthly".

So does Your Life live up to its promise? It fulfils the first task of a

weekly, with clearly headed sections making it easy to flick through: a

Week in Your Life, Body & Soul, Indulgence, Life Support and Life

Matters. It has also got the essential celebrity photos at the front.

But does it have what it takes to keep you going back for more?

The best women's magazines develop a persona of their own - their take

on life establishes a bond with the reader. Essentially, you know what

you're getting into, whether it is on a weekly or monthly basis. Sadly,

Your Life still does not seem to have quite pinned down what it wants to

be. It doesn't quite satisfy your bitchy side - the celebrity stuff does

not dish the dirt on some actresses' dubious taste in clothes or men,

nor does it talk to your passion for style. The interiors aren't

inspirational, nor the fashion trendy enough. Even the ads are a bit


There are some highlights, however, - a pretty human interview with

Jennifer Aniston, a thought-provoking article on prescription drug

addiction in Appalachia and a piece on "undercover marketing". All three

are the right length and depth for a weekly - keeping your attention for

just long enough.

A clear tone of voice does not mean only one note - we all need some

light and shade. Perhaps this magazine has worked out how to talk

intelligently to smart women - but it hasn't yet quite understood how

these women relate to trivia.

With a million titles and even more websites available to us, we need

more than information from a magazine - we need a point of view, a clear

sense of a reading experience. Your Life has yet to work out what it's

letting its readers in for.

Publisher: IPC Connect

Frequency: Weekly

Circulation: 125,000

Full-page ad rate: £6,000

Advertisers include: Dove, David Ashton, Surf, Vitabiotics, Joico


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