Publisher IPC is to spend £6m on launching a new women’s weekly, Pick Me Up , it was announced this week.
The magazine, whose closest competitor will be Bauer’s market-leading title Take A Break , will be given away free with stablemates Woman, Now, Chat and What’s On TV from January 11 -a record run of 3.5m sample copies.
IPC claims the launch, which until this week was known only as “Project Spitfire”, will redefine the “real life” sector, and is backing it with a major national TV ad campaign.
Pick Me Up is edited by June Smith Sheppard, who is also editor of sister title Chat , and is being overseen by editorial director Mike Soutar, who last year helped launch IPC’s market-leading men’s weekly, Nuts.
IPC has promised the magazine will offer more real life stories in a more accessible and entertaining way, although details are still a closely guarded secret.
Industry insiders have questioned IPC’s wisdom in putting out a magazine that could be seen to be competing with the publisher’s own titles.
One said: “How much will Pick Me Up affect the IPC mags it’s being given away with – especially Chat ? Although the real life sector is expanding, its growth is partly at the cost to other women’s weeklies.”
But Sheppard-Smith said she had no fear that Pick Me Up would threaten Chat ‘s 606,000 ABC figure. She said: “Both brands have a very strong sense of identity, so we’re hoping people will buy Pick Me Up as an additional purchase, not instead of Chat.
By Alyson Fixter