Dispute over UK spa magazines bubbles to surface

Spa Health and Beauty: received legal letter from Spa life

A row has broken out in the usually harmonious world of spas with two new magazines at loggerheads.

Spa Health & Beauty unveiled itself as the first spa magazine on the market last week and was taken aback to receive a legal letter a few days later from a rival publisher claiming it had copied its design.

Editor Catherine Beattie said it had received a "nasty" letter from Spa Life, which also claims to be the UK’s first spa magazine, accusing it of copying its masthead.

Beattie insisted Spa Life’s design was based on the original concept of Spa Health & Beauty – which had since been updated.

Spa Health & Beauty claimed Spa Life had surreptitiously got hold of its media pack by masquerading as a representative of a South African agency interested in placing an advertisement. Suspicions were aroused when Spa Life asked its rival to substantiate its circulation claims.

Spa Life editor Terri Fleeman-Harwick said the accusation was "rubbish", adding that she had no time for "petty" arguments. "It is an incredible coincidence that after years of there being no spa magazines, suddenly there are going to be two." Spa Life is due to launch next month, as is Spa Health & Beauty.

Fleeman-Harwick said she had "only recently" found out about the other launch and claimed it had been brought forward. "That is an absolute fib," Beattie responded. "We actually delayed the launch. If there’s another competitor, that’s fine but they can’t claim to be the first."

By Ruth Addicott

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