A former Daily Mirror columnist has revamped a dwindling mature bi-monthly lifestyle magazine after the publisher’s research showed the over-50s felt the current market was ‘patronising”.
Fiona Webster, formerly a freelance editor for News Magazines, was appointed editor of Activelife magazine in November last year, after it was bought by Millennium – a mature market advertising agency that is part of The Direct Marketing Group – and has given the title a wider outlook to cater for the expanding interests of the mature market.
Millennium conducted research with the over-50s and claims over 70 per cent of the 7,000 people asked felt current magazines aimed at the over-50s were ‘patronising’and ‘boring”.
Webster worked with art editor Laura Hall to overhaul the title, originally published by the Post Office, which gave it out free.
It currently claims a paid-for six-times-a-year circulation of 100,000.
Webster said: ‘Generally, in the older market, they’re just not finding what they’re looking for. I think we’ve avoided pigeon-holing readers and avoided assuming that they’ve got narrow interests. We’re offering them something that is very
wide, varied and challenging.”
The print title and website now encompass a range of lifestyle topics such as health, travel, money and property. Webster has also put a strong emphasis on big name celebrity issues, with Dame Helen Mirrem on the cover of the next issue.
Webster said the magazine caters for baby-boomers, who she said are just as likely go to a rock concert as sit down to do the crossword. ‘What we’re saying is we don’t think you’re sitting down and giving up on life, we think you’re seeing the second part of your life as a real challenge.’