I was deeply concerned to read your article “Are magazines losing their grip on women?” (MW February 10). They are not, whatever Channel 4 may have you believe.
Given the consistent increases in circulation of women’s monthly and weekly titles (up by eight to ten per cent across the board), it is erroneous to imply that reader loyalty is diminishing or that women are spending less time reading their magazines.
As an advertising showcase for skincare and beauty products, there is overwhelming research evidence to show such magazines’ pre-eminence. Our own Ad Track study endorses readers’ high awareness of toiletries ads in magazines. In Media Values, magazines out-performed TV by more than 5:1 as the best source of ideas and information on skincare, cosmetics and fragrances – and nothing has changed.
As to targeting, no Channel 4 programme delivers those “increasingly elusive women” aged 16 to 44 as efficiently as women’s magazines. Only 33 per cent of Brookside’s audience – Channel 4’s best performing soap – falls within this sector. IPC SouthBank Group’s monthly titles can offer up to 90 per cent profiles of 16 to 44-year-old women.
Finally, with regard to direct response, I am not aware of a single toiletry advertiser who has had a better response from the “alien medium” TV than with women’s monthly magazines – never mind the quality of that response.
Ad marketing manager
IPC SouthBank Group