Magazine article Marketing

Celeb Titles Buoy Women's Weeklies

Magazine article Marketing

Celeb Titles Buoy Women's Weeklies

Article excerpt

The public's fascination with stars' lives gave celebrity titles a boost in a women's weekly sector that saw an overall drop in sales of 1.3% year on year and a slight increase of 0.9% period on period to 7,475,174.

Boosted by a high-profile television advertising campaign and a repositioning as a celebrity-based title for women, Emap's Heat, tipped for closure last year, reported an astounding 137.6% year-on-year rise in sales, to 172,311.

Barry McIlheney, chief executive of Emap Elan, said: "We're thrilled. I can't remember an increase of this scale."

Repeating the pattern of February 2000, Hello! lost out to OK's stronger line-up of exclusive stories.

Hello! reported a 1.5% yearly increase, 9.6% period-on-period, and sales of 502,679, while its rival rose by 6.2% year-on-year to 586,176.

The battle for the top slot among the celebrity news titles is likely to be even more fiercely fought now that former News of the World editor Phil Hall has taken the Hello! helm.

He promises more celebrity-based stories and less concentration on minor European aristocracy.

NatMags has said it is too early to analyse the effect of its takeover of Gruner & Jahr titles, which include Best.

With a circulation of 431,352, Best is down 5.4% period-on-period and 8.6% year-on-year, hit by the effects of being delisted by Tesco during the distribution row.

NatMags deputy managing director Duncan Edwards said the company would be evaluating Best as a brand and that further tweaks are likely. …

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