Fierce competition from the higher end men’s fashion bi-annuals has forced the closure of lower end titles such as IPC’s Fashion Inc, according to media buyers.
The imminent closure of Fashion Inc means that parent title Loaded joins FHM and Maxim in the ranks of men’s monthlies to have launched and closed a style bi-annual. IPC has also announced redundancies at Loaded as part of the changes.
Hannah Murphy, press associate director of Vizeum, said that Fashion Inc suffered in comparison to the style spin-offs of GQ and Arena – GQ Style and Arena Homme Plus respectively.
She said: ‘I think Loaded and fashion is a slight contradiction in terms. Because Loaded came from that lad mag era, it didn’t have the credibility to offer a stand-alone fashion supplement.”
Dan Pimm, who is head of press at Universal McCann, said that advertisers on titles at the lower end of the men’s monthlies market were ‘finding that no one, not even the fashion advertisers,wants to get on board with them”.
Pimm said it was difficult to assess what kind of circulation the style magazines had, but that fashion and high-end brands are willing to advertise to keep publishers happy.
‘They’re certainly not numbers drivers and we don’t ever get an indication of what numbers they are providing.
‘Fashion advertisers feel they need to be on board these kinds of titles, despite the fact that they are not going to too many people.”
IPC is currently in consultation with those affected by the closure and has said that redundancies will be made at Loaded as well. These include six permanent and seven regular freelance employees across both titles, the majority in editorial positions.
IPC Ignite managing director Eric Fuller blamed the changing men’s market for the closure, saying that Fashion Inc had no viable long-term future. As a result, the current spring/summer issue will be the last.
Originally an offshoot of Loaded, Fashion Inc relaunched without the parent branding early last year.
Most men’s titles have tried to move into the upmarket fashion niche in a bid to attract high-end advertising and boost the parent brand’s fashion kudos.