GQ drops sex in move upmarket

GQ Magazine is to drop its policy of competing with Loaded magazine under new editor Angus McKinnon.

McKinnnon is known to believe that the December issue of the style magazine, which carries Wonderbra model Eva Herzigova on the front cover and a 18-page lingerie feature, will be the “very last time” the magazine will run strong sexual content.

“This is as far as it goes,” says GQ publisher Peter Stuart. “There will always be girls in GQ, but it will be more tasteful in future. The December issue still very much smacks of Michael VerMeulen. The magazine has drifted a little too far below the belt.”

McKinnon is understood to want to give the title a more analytical and heavyweight approach. He has in the past told agencies that his model for a magazine would be closer to a combination of Vanity Fair, which runs features of 6,000 words, and the political fortnightly, The Spectator.

McKinnon, who before GQ worked on literary magazine Granta, is likely to worry agencies as such a move upmarket may harm the title’s circulation.

Loaded overtook GQ as the best-selling men’s lifestyle magazine in the January to June ABCs, when GQ sold an average of 127,276 compared to Loaded’s 127,677.

But Stuart denies McKinnon’s changes will be so radical. “It will be evolution, not revolution. Every editor stamps his authority and character on a magazine.”

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