I was racking my brain trying to think of someone suitable to
review Emap’s Red magazine - a woman who is about 30 and likely to read
a magazine for pleasure.
I realised with a bit of a jolt that I could no longer cling on to the
coat tails of Cosmopolitan and Elle and should face up to the reality
that I, at 30, am slipping into Red’s target readership.
The April issue is the first full issue under the editorship of Sally
Brampton, who was the launch editor of Elle. So I read her letter at the
front of the magazine to get an idea of what she is trying to achieve.
Brampton states that Red will: ’Use the best writers, stylists and
photographers and we’re going to be serious about it ... mixing in some
grit with the glamour.’
Well, there’s plenty of grit in this magazine and thankfully no articles
on how to achieve the best orgasm - the realisation presumably being
that if by thirtysomething you don’t already know, then you’re a lost
Red’s mix of features isn’t totally predictable, which makes a nice
change from most magazines. The profile on the actress Kristin Scott
Thomas was more lively than the usual heavily PR’d piece and I managed
to read most of it.
It’s evident that a good section of Red’s readership will be career
mothers, so the piece about male postnatal depression was outside my
domain but it was well written and interesting.
However, my need for articles with substance began to recede when I was
faced with features on home-buying hell, the internet healthcare
revolution and adults who dictate youth trends.
Skipping the sections on cookery and health and beauty, I moved on to
fashion. I recoiled in horror when I happened on an ad for Alexon (it’s
the sort of brand my mother would wear), but on the whole it had a good
mix of expensive and not so expensive clothes and plenty of slinky
little numbers to reassure me that showing some flesh is still
My verdict: Brampton has got a good sense of what women in their
thirties want, but she could give the editorial a lighter touch in
Emap Elan Network
Full-page colour ad
180,403 up 4.2 per cent year on year
Calvin Klein, Volkswagen, Rolex, Estee Lauder, Baby Gap