Media: Perspective - Fashion is the new lure for an upmarket weekly readership

Andy Tilley, the strategist at The Ingram Partnership, could soon lay claim to having one of the busiest jobs in media. The man behind the launch of the new television marketing body Thinkbox (right) could also see himself become one of the world's best-paid receptionists as Thinkbox enquiry calls will be directed to his number at TIP.

His major rivals this week for the "King of Busy" title will be the teams of people at magazine publishers, digesting and processing the impacts of this week's ABC figures. As usual, there will be winners and losers, grossly bulked-up figures and more spin than on a Shane Warne googly.

But the hype earlier in the week was related to one magazine that won't even be credited with an official circulation figure. Emap's Grazia published its first paid-for edition on Tuesday (after a free sample hit the streets a week before).

Priced at £1.50, with Kate Moss on the cover, Grazia claims to be the UK's first weekly glossy. Based on a look at the first two issues, Grazia is less fashion heavy than the Italian title from which it is licensed. Emap seems to be looking to guarantee healthy weekly sales of more than 150,000, and a bit of celebrity tittle-tattle will go a long way to achieving this.

The risk though is that this will dilute the offer to the more upmarket audience that the magazine's fashion coverage aims to target. Claudine Collins, the press director at MediaCom, explains: "Do I think it's different in what it's offering? We'll have to wait and see, but I'm concerned that it's not going to be as upmarket as Emap thinks, because this is difficult if they're trying to get 150,000 or 200,000 sales every week."

On the whole though, agencies seem to see Grazia as a more significant launch than the recent Reveal from ACP-NatMag or Pick Me Up from IPC Media. Some have received indications from Emap that the celebrity coverage will be toned down as the title evolves. They would like a little more travel coverage and the horoscopes moved further back in the title but they like the fashion coverage and the potential delivery of upmarket-glossy readers week in, week out.

Of course, Emap has a large cash pot to back Grazia (the talk is of a £12 million marketing spend and a total launch budget of £16 million).

It expects to generate £17 million in retail sales value (from cover price) in the first year, plus there could be significant advertising revenue if Emap keeps to its pledge of delivering an upmarket audience.

Grazia may not yet be the perfect, upmarket glossy that fashion purists crave but there are enough early signs to suggest that it will be a hit. If so, expect other publishers to follow suit.