IPC hires marketing chief for £26m Internet venture

Magazine company IPC has drafted in former Freemans general manager Lucie Scott as marketing director for IPC Electric, its new £26m e-commerce and Internet project.

Scott was instrumental in bringing together designer names such as Red or Dead, Jasper Conran and Patrick Cox in an upmarket catalogue called The Book, which was launched by Freemans last year.

She is expected to use this experience to help launch the new IPC venture, which is likely to include an upmarket online shopping component alongside its established magazine brands.

IPC is also understood to be talking to advertising agencies about the project, which is scheduled to launch at the end of the year.

The venture, which was revealed exclusively in Marketing Week last week (July 26 ), will enable IPC to capitalise on the next wave of Web surfers. These are expected to be high earning young women – a key section of IPC magazines’ target market.

Hearst Corporation of the US, which owns The National Magazine Company and Cosmopolitan, has launched its women.com Internet service in the States and is poised to launch a similar venture in the UK.

Condé Nast has also joined the battle to lure female Internet users, signing a deal in the US with home furnishings manufacturer Williams Sonoma to share revenue on its CondéNet venture.

If successful, IPC Electric could generate substantial revenue from subscriber purchases, subscription charges, sales of e-mail lists and on-site advertising.

In the longer term, the venture could also boost IPC’s stock market valuation if the group’s proposed flotation goes ahead. Dixons’ Freeserve was valued at £2.1bn on its first day of trading on the stock market.

IPC refuses to comment.

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