National Magazine Company chief Terry Mansfield has dismissed Conde Nast’s claim that Glamour is now the UK’s biggest-selling glossy magazine.
Although NatMags’ Cosmopolitan retained its position as top glossy in the latest ABCs, Conde Nast placed a series of double-page adverts pointing out it had taken the lead over Cosmopolitan on UK news-stands.
Mansfield, in an e-mail to staff, said he would rather invest in his titles than spend money on a "phoney" advertising war. He told staff: "You will all have seen the ads claiming that Glamour has taken the No.1 slot. Of course, this is not true. Cosmopolitan is still No.1. But Glamour has taken the No.1 slot on UK news-stands which is the figure they are working with.
"You may be wondering why we haven’t retaliated. My view is that I would rather invest in our magazines than spend pointless money in a phoney war waged in the pages of the newspapers and give people the opportunity to write those ‘handbags at dawn’ stories they love so much.
"Cosmopolitan is a worldwide brand, operating in 43 countries which has been No.1 in the UK for nearly 30 years. In the next month we will be launching Cosmopolitan Bride and CosmoGIRL! When Conde Nast is doing all that and launching a chain of Glamour cafes, then I’ll worry about the threat of serious competition."
Glamour publisher Simon Kippin, who was Cosmopolitan publisher before being poached by Conde Nast, said: "I’d have reacted in the same way. Terry was always making me take out two-page spreads when I was at Cosmo and the circulation was up.
"We have grown the market place by 12 per cent. We have come in at a storming figure and we wanted to celebrate that. I can’t think of a magazine ever being launched with that degree of success." Mansfield urged staff to welcome Glamour to the "premiership" of the magazine world, but added: "As all football managers know, a couple of matches don’t make a season!"
By Ruth Addicott