So what did the ABCs tell us about the men’s market? There are
three answers: the market is either up, down or static. I was befuddled
when the first three pundits I spoke to all arrived at different
The instant impression is that the market is down because FHM, Loaded,
Maxim and Men’s Health all recorded year-on-year losses.
But the figure in the ’totals’ column reveals sales were up 6.5 per cent
in 1999 - over a year that’s an increase of more than two million
Finally, if we strip out Wallpaper (it doesn’t really fit with FHM, does
it?), Bizarre (which could claim a category of its own) and the
relaunched Stuff, the percentage growth is nearer 1 per cent - fairly
I stand by our analysis last week that the sector is struggling to
accommodate new entrants such as Front and Later. This is not yet a
mid-life crisis, but at least the onset of dull maturity.