Jones: 'Nuts, Zoo, Arena and FHM are all identical'

The editor of GQ magazine has said the rest of the men's market did so badly in the ABCs because they are too similar.

GQ was the only men's magazine to increase in sales, up 1.4 per cent to 126,797 year on year, which does not focus on technology or health.

Editor Dylan Jones told Press Gazette that GQ and Men's Health (up 3.4 per cent to 235,833) increased sales because they were the only magazines doing anything different.

He said: "If you look at the likes of Nuts, Zoo, Arena or FHM they're identical. I think initially because Nuts and Zoo were successful most of the other magazines panicked and went more downmarket in an attempt to improve their circulation, unfortunately this time it hasn't worked.

He added: "I'd imagine their readers are probably bored because the offering has become very limited. Our only real competition is Esquire."

Asked about FHM's forthcoming re-branding, reportedly an attempt to take the title up-market, Jones said: "I think if FHM seriously decided to go up-market they would alienate their consumer base and alienate their readers.

"If you look at how FHM has expanded around the globe, are you telling me that they're suddenly going to change aspects of the magazine globally? It's very unlikely."

Men's market leader FHM sold 420,688, a drop of 24.9 per cent. FHM's weekly sister title at Emap, Zoo, was down 12.4 per cent to 228,024.

Group MD of Emap Lifestyle & Entertainment Marcus Rich said: "The position of FHM isn't about taking it up- or downmarket. FHM was a very broad church that attracted the 16-36s.Now with the changes and the fragmentation it attracts slightly older men. The brand values remain the same."

Zoo's IPC competitor Nuts was stable with a tiny increase of under 0.1 per cent up to 304,785. Nuts editor Phil Hilton said: "We've continued down the same road, whereas our immediate rival Zoo has had to do a bit of zigzagging, which confuses the audience.

"Some of their zigs have been better than their zags, and vice versa, but what they've created has been confusing, and that has affected their sales."

Nuts stablemate Loaded dropped 21.9 per cent to 185,268.

Loaded editor Martin Daubney said: "The challenge for all of us is to try and attract young readers, kids that are on YouTube, MySpace and mobile phones — that's where they get their information, that's where they get their entertainment.

"We've got an extremely loyal readership, but they're getting older with us — that's the way it's going on all other titles, it's the same with Marie Claire."

The worst hit title in the sector was Dennis publication Maxim, which dropped 35.8 per cent down to 146,043.

New editor Derek Harbinson took over this week. The magazine dropped its bulks during this ABC period, which accounts for some of the percentage decrease.

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