Nuts pulls away from Zoo in the men's weekly market

IPC Media's Nuts is set to crash through the 300,000 mark when the ABC magazine circulation figures for January to June are published next week.

The new figure is set to see the men's weekly, launched in January 2004, extending its lead on its Emap rival, Zoo, from 35,000 to 50,000 copies.

Nuts is expected to have increased its circulation by around 30,000 copies. Zoo is thought to have picked up 15,000 readers, which will take it to an ABC figure of slightly more than 255,000.

Since their launch, the IPC and Emap titles have jostled for position. Nuts has come out ahead in the last two auditing periods but last period (July to December 2004) it declined 5 per cent to 275,459. Emap gained ground and increased its circulation by 20 per cent to 240,215.

The two titles also compete head-to-head for advertising revenue. Zoo has just won the latest battle, landing a £200,000 deal with Gillette. The contract, in contention since May, is Zoo's biggest win since its launch.

The deal will involve Gillette's M3 Power brand sponsoring Zoo's annual Football Fans Census. This will introduce Gillette's association with the World Cup in 2006 and, later in the year, advertorials will run alongside editorial coverage.

Emap is also planning to expand the brand by taking Zoo into new markets abroad. It is launching a Spanish version of the title this month, called Zoo Sie7e. Emap is hoping that the new title will achieve a circulation of 100,000 copies in its first 18 months.

Paul Merrill, the launch editor of Zoo in the UK, has been moved to the role of international editor. His role will be to oversee Zoo's international expansion.