Condé Nast earmarks £17m for Easy Living launch fund

Forbes is backed by £6m of first-year investment to promote Easy Living

Condé Nast is threatening to shake up the women’s market by pledging to spend £17m on its long-awaited launch for the “grown up” woman – Easy Living.

The scale of investment, over a period of five years, is expected to pose a serious threat to existing glossies such as Good Housekeeping and Red, with Condé Nast aiming to seize the leadership in terms of its food coverage and fashion and beauty aimed at women over 30.

A team led by the former Vogue deputy Susie Forbes has been working on the concept for two years. The first issue is scheduled to hit newsstands on 3 March 2005, positioned next to Red, Eve, She, InStyle, Good Housekeeping and Woman & Home.

Backed by £6m investment in the first year alone, it will have an initial print run of 600,000.

Speaking at the launch in London, Condé Nast managing director Nicholas Coleridge said it was more than just the scale of the market that was of interest, “it was the attitude of a new generation”.

He added the aim was to gain a sizeable circulation in year one.

“We are confident that this is the right title at the right time. Our intention is to go in with a very, very strong first figure and see what happens.

We are going to put absolutely every resource behind it that we can,” he said.

Coleridge claimed Easy Living would have “a stand out level of confidence” and “a relevance and sleekness” that is not present in the current market.

The magazine will be produced on the same paper stock as Vogue, “in contrast to the slightly yellow thin paper stock of Good Housekeeping”, he added.

The health and beauty pages will cover issues such as alternative medicine. There will be 30 pages or more of food aimed at simple ingredients and “minimum preparation time” and 20 pages of interiors and gardening. A products section will test everything from a breadmaker to bank accounts.

Forbes said real life and fashion would also play a part. “Just because we are out of our 20s, we don’t want to retire into a life filled with elasticated trousers. We want to know the trends, but not in a silly fashion victimy way,” she said.

Forbes claimed the features would be funny, interesting and clever and would appeal to the reader in the same way that “when you have just read a really good book you can’t wait to tell your friends about it”.

By Ruth Addicott

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