Love It! will revel in sex, celebrities and surgery

By Alyson Fixter

News International
is to make a typically colourful entrance into the UK magazine market
with the launch of fluorescent women’s weekly Love It! and the claim
that closest rival Pick Me Up is “full of grey-haired grannies”.

Edited by Karen Pasquali Jones, who was on Pick Me Up’s original
launch team at IPC, the title hopes to entice a younger, funkier reader
with an up-market design from Grazia launch veteran Mark Setchfield and
real-life stories seasoned with sex, celebrity and cosmetic surgery.

The magazine has an ambitious target of 400,000 sales a week by August.

It
hits the newsstands on 7 February supported by an £8.5m marketing
budget, three weeks after NatMags’ Real People, which carries many of
Love It!’s selling points, but with more of a family slant.

Jones,
who was headhunted from her role as contributing editor at Emap’s
celebrity weekly Closer, admitted that Love It! was aimed at a similar
audience to that targeted by IPC when it launched Pick Me Up last year,
but said: “The difference is that we’re going to stick to our target.

“If
you open up that magazine now it’s full of grey-haired grannies. We’re
going to remain true to the readers we’ve identified, who are fans of
real life, but don’t want to be seen reading their mums’ magazine and
feel there’s nothing in the market for them.

“The look has given
us a showcase for all the USPs, but I’ve counted every word on every
page in this magazine and there is more true life in here than any
other true-life magazine.

“We’ve got a big features team out there getting great exclusives, fighting and bargaining with everyone.”

The claims are similar to those made by NatMags on the launch of Real People, which has been backed by a £6m marketing campaign.

Both titles feature “behind the headlines”

sections
– although Love It!’s tabloid links might be expected to stand it in
good stead in that area – a real diets section and celebrities
revealing their own real-life stories, but Love It! claims to have
pushed the boat out in its “adults only” section, weekly crime feature,
coverage of plastic surgery and a move into reportage.

It will
also be published on a Tuesday, the same day as the celebrity weeklies,
rather than Thursday, when most reallife titles appear.

Judy
McGuire, editorial director of Rupert Murdoch’s new magazines division,
News Magazines, was editor of the NoW’s Sunday magazine for 10 years.

She
said: “We’d been talking about entering the magazines market for years.
This seemed to be the right time, so Rupert [Murdoch] said go for it.

“It’s
a very buoyant market, it’s organically growing. Pick Me Up brought in
new readers, and we feel we have identified a new reader.”

The
company’s next launch, a UK version of Australian homes monthly Inside
Out, is due in March. Another women’s title slated for September.

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