Mills & Boon launches book brand for the ‘Bridget Jones’ generation

Romantic fiction publisher Harlequin Mills & Boon is launching a book brand to target the younger end of the women’s market.

Romantic fiction publisher Harlequin Mills & Boon is launching a book brand to target the younger end of the women’s market.

The Red Dress Ink brand, which launches next week, will be aimed at 18to 35-year-olds. Mills & Boon’s mainstream romance novels are targeted at women over 45.

Harlequin Mills & Boon senior product manager Gemma Clutterbuck says: “This is partly a result of the success of Bridget Jones’s Diary, and partly due to the influence of TV shows such as Friends and Sex and the City. Young women today want to see their own lives – in all the messy detail – reflected in fiction.”

The first release under the Red Dress Ink brand will be Milkrun, by Sarah Mlynowski. The book will be available from major chains including WH Smith, Tesco, Borders and Sainsbury’s.

The launch will be suppported by a series of press ads, created by London-based Davies Little Cowley Fiddes, running in magazines such as Heat.

Media is through Total Media, which won the business last year. The campaign breaks on April 19, the day of the brand’s launch.

Red Dress Ink follows Harlequin Mills & Boon’s launch of Stony Man books for men in October 2000 (MW September 28, 2000). Stony Man is a series of “James Bond”-style adventures. The brand was launched in an exclusive deal with 340 WH Smith stores in the UK.

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