Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Publishers' Beauty Secrets

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Publishers' Beauty Secrets

Article excerpt

Beauty is definitely more than skin deep for the magazines that cover it. Last year, the toiletries and cosmetics category accounted for 15,159 ad pages, ranking second, after automotive, in the Publishers Information Bureau standings. Through February of this year, the category had posted 1,853 pages, compared with 1,744 for the same period last year, a 6.3 percent increase.

Not surprisingly, it's an attractive market to a number of titles already courting female readers. But looks can be deceiving. Trying to put a fresh face on the category isn't easy, as evidenced by the demise of Real Beauty, a title that published just four issues before Gruner+Jahr USA shut it down last fall after acquiring it along with The New York Times Co. Women's Magazines group.

Cooking Light, the 5.2 million-circulation title published by Time Inc.'s Southern Progress division, recently announced it was launching a three-times-a-year beauty section, beginning with its September issue. "Because of the editorial combination of nutrition, fitness and health in Cooking Light, there was a vanity aspect to why people were buying it," says Jeff Ward, publisher of the Birmingham, Alabama-based publication. "We're focusing on beauty from the inside out."

Ward stresses that the new section was reader generated - and that the opportunity to crack a new ad category was secondary. At present, beauty advertising represents a tiny segment of Cooking Light's revenues, he says. "We never thought that we were going to be huge in this category, but we think we should probably carry some of that advertising."

Start with a good foundation

Media buyers say the move makes sense as long as the title remains true to its mission. "Magazines with a vertical association in their title are branching out," notes Valerie Muller, executive vice president of DeWitt Media in New York City. …

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