Size Really Matters In Acp’s Magazine World

AS EVERY Cosmopolitan reader knows, size does indeed matter – especially when it comes to the size of the magazine itself.

Publisher ACP is banking on a bigger book to entice readers back to the ailing title.

Circulation fell by 18.7 per cent to 165,301 copies, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for the 12 months to June.

The publisher is adding 100 pages and is backing it up with television ads next week.

The ads will depict readers weighed down by the bigger value Cosmo, which will hold its price at $7.20 until November.

Gavin Larkin, the managing director of Cosmo’s ad agency, The Brand Shop, said: “It’s really about dramatising in a fun way that there’s more to Cosmo than ever before,” he said.

ACP has increased the size of other titles but this is the first time it has deployed a “sustained bonus book-size strategy”, as Pat Ingram, ACP women’s lifestyle group publisher, put it.

It is also Cosmo’s first “significant” TV ad campaign in six years. Mr Larkin said: “You have to be out there to remind people you exist.”

Simon Davies, head of print buying at OMD, said: “That whole younger end of the [female] magazine market has been hit hard by discretionary spending. It’s only going to get tougher.”

Stablemate Cleo’s circulation slumped 12 per cent to 149,256. “It’s an important market as they [younger women] tend to move onto the other titles,” he said.

Ms Ingram pointed to Cosmo’s stable readership as an indication that “young women are reading it as they were before but have been sharing it with friends in this tighter economy”.

But if the monthly market for younger readers has been hit hard then ACP can take some comfort from Grazia. Five issues after launch, the weekly fashion magazine is selling “around 100,000 copies”, Ms Ingram said. This is 30,000 ahead of target. Brandshop was given the Cosmo brief in the wake of its launch campaign for Grazia.

The magazine market is waiting to see if Grazia will squeeze the circulation and ad revenue of other women’s titles. To date, rival Pacific Magazines says it has had “no impact” on either. Pacific commercial director Peter Zavecz said the number of ads in Grazia had halved to about 30 since launch. “That’s where we have them pegged. As an advertising proposition it’s compelling to some clients but it’s not affected any of our titles. From what our major clients tell us they are just reallocating their ACP money to accommodate Grazia,” he said.

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