EMAP in multi-million pound bid to move flagship title upmarket

EMAP is undertaking a multi-million pound relaunch of its beleaguered men’s title FHM as the publishing company attempts to complete a restructure.


EMAP is undertaking a multi-million pound relaunch of its beleaguered men’s title FHM as the publishing company attempts to complete a restructure.

The relaunch, expected to come as early as autumn, will include moving the title towards an older readership, with a more premium positioning and also an increased cover price of the monthly title. FHM is currently available for £3.50.

It will also involve a complete new look, with fresh content and design.

EMAP has been sounding out media buyers to gauge their opinion on the potential of the new look for its market-leading title.

An EMAP spokeswoman confirms the relaunch and says that the decision was taken in an attempt to keep FHM’s “sexy and funny values” but move it into a more “valuable package”.

A key motive behind the overhaul is an effort to lure more premium advertising. EMAP also wants to separate it from competing weekly magazines Nuts and EMAP sister title Zoo as well as monthly rivals such as Maxim and Loaded.

It is EMAP’s second attempt to reposition the magazine in under two years. Media buyers condemned last year’s refresh, which attempted to narrow its readership focus to 25-30 year olds, as not going far enough.

Although the magazine will now be pitched at more upmarket readers, EMAP says it will not compete against Cond» Nast’s GQ and NatMags’ Esquire.

The latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures show that retail sales of FHM fell from around 410,000 in February 2005 to 252,000 in February 2006 – a 38.5% drop. However, its sales still eclipse those of Loaded and Maxim combined.

The relaunch follows reports that EMAP is looking to offload some of its underperforming titles, such as Arena and New Woman.

EMAP is still looking to fill its vacant chief executive’s role, following the departure of Tom Moloney in May. His departure followed shareholder unrest over company strategy and its slow implementation of its digital offering in particular. Headhunter Zygos is making a shortlist.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here