- Investment in new launches, new editors and revamps appear to have paid off for many publishers in the women's monthly sector.
While EMAP Elan's new launch, Red, comfortably surpassed its sales target for its first ABCs, IPC's Woman's Journal indicated that sales were picking up under new editor Marcelle D'Argy Smith and EMAP's overhauled New Woman registered the sector's largest sales hike. Overall, the sector grew by 1.3 per cent.
Red registered sales of 190,136 for the six months between January-June 1998, a comfortable 10,000 above projected figures. Wagadon's Frank notched up 41,548.
New Woman continued to reap the benefits of its revamp with a year on year sales rise of 12.3 per cent, buoyed by period on period growth of 4.7 per cent. And while Woman's Journal actually recorded a fall of 12.5 per cent over the last twelve months, its figures for January-June showed an increase of 5.8 per cent - indicating that D'Argy Smith's presence may be starting to have an impact. Other titles doing well include Cosmopolitan - up 7 per cent year on year - and Zest - up 8.7 per cent for the same period.
However there was less happy news for a number of the more established titles. Options fell by 12.1 per cent year on year while Marie Claire fell by 4.3 per cent year on year, despite a small 0.2 per cent increase in the past six months.
Chris Boyd, managing director of IPC Southbank, put the fall down to stiff competition from rivals using free gifts to boost sales, commenting: "It's almost getting to ridiculous proportions." And he added: "We have stabilised Marie Claire and our next ABCs will definitely be up."