Esquire excels but more gloom for Loaded, Front and Maxim

The publishers of Loaded and Maxim have responded to falling sales by attacking each other.

Tim Brooks, managing director of Loaded publisher IPC ignite!, said the magazine’s 15.2 per cent drop year-onyear was not its “best performance” but claimed Maxim was covermounting more than any other title in the men’s sector. Maxim, published by Dennis, was down 7 per cent, but is now just 10,820 copies behind Loaded.

Brooks also attacked Maxim’s current advertising campaign, which features a man, passed out drunk and caught inflagrante delicto with a rubber doll. The caption on the advertisement says: “Embarrassed? It’s time to grow up and read Maxim.”

Maxim publisher Andy Semple said: “The bloke in the ad is probably a Loaded reader. The only embarrassing thing about our campaign is that it draws attention to that end of the market. Loaded is feeling the pressure because its circulation has gone down relentlessly and it doesn’t really know what it is any more.

“We have put clear water between ourselves, Loaded and FHM. Advertisers and readers now understand that Maxim is for brighter blokes.”

Front suffered the biggest slide, down 21.5 per cent year-on-year and 22.5 per cent period-on-period, while FHM retained the number one spot, up 3.4 per cent to 600,568 – thanks to the High Street Honeys (“saucy” photographs of readers’ wives and girlfriends), its website and marketing initiatives.

I Feel Good’s Jack reported a newsstand sale of 20,385 which, added to frees, have given it a debut ABC of 33,347, ahead of Arena but below its initial target of 45,000. Publisher Bruce Sandell, said: “The big target was, and still, is Esquire.” Now under the ownership of Dennis and edited by Michael Hodges, Jack will reveal a new look in October with more pages, an increased price and new format.

Esquire was up 23.2 per cent, boosted by frees and bulks but Duncan Edwards, managing director of The National Magazine Company, suggested it still had a long way to go in terms of sales and would benefit from lessening its emphasis on pop culture.

GQ and Arena were up but The Face fell 10.6 per cent. Wallpaper plummeted 15.4 per cent year-on-year but has improved in the past six months following its redesign.

Men’s Fitness was up 12.5 per cent year-on-year and Stuff up 9.6 per cent.

By Ruth Addicott

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