BBC blames itself for stalled Star launch

BBC Worldwide’s new teen title Star:the celebrity magazine failed to attract advertisers to its debut edition because it left the launch announcement too late, according to its publisher.

The title managed to attract some traditional consumer advertisers such as Mars’ Galaxy Caramel and cosmetics brand Maybelline for the 12 pages of ads, but most came from film and record companies which are more likely to book at short notice. The pagination of the title was 100 pages.

BBC Worldwide associate publisher youth group Alfie Lewis says the magazine only got the official go-ahead this summer, after BBC children’s brand Live & Kicking had decided to do a celebrity programming strand. Lewis says: “The ad team had very little time to sell the magazine. Advertising that is appearing in this autumn’s magazines was planned about eight months ago.

“We knew that to get on most of the autumn schedules we were too late.”

MindShare press buying director Paul Thomas says: “I’m surprised it didn’t get more advertising but it is in a difficult market.”

Thomas felt that because the title only announced its October 18 a few months before, little time had been left to sell space.

He says: “If you launch anything very, very late then you are always going to struggle to get advertising in.”

Sally Cartwright, publishing director of Hello! magazine, says: “I didn’t think there was very much advertising. I don’t know how this concept is going to go down with advertisers.”

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