Nuts slams Zoo's 'copycat' style as sales gap shrinks

By Alyson Fixter

The publisher of Nuts has challenged bitter rival Zoo to “come up
with something new” following ABC results that show Zoo is closing the
sales gap on its competitor.

In the past six months, Emap’s Zoo has narrowed the overall sales
gap between the two titles to 35,000 copies, and is running
neck-and-neck in fullprice sales.

IPC title Nuts continues to
rank second in the men’s mags market, behind FHM, with weekly sales of
275,459 (a six-month drop of 5 per cent), compared with Zoo’s six-month
increase of 20 per cent to 240,215.

Nuts publisher Eric Fuller
said the figures showed that Zoo had had a “very poor launch” and had
put on sales through copying Nuts.

He added: “Over the past six months they’ve copied our editorial, design, improved their paper and even changed format size.

taken an enormous amount of inspiration from Nuts and they’ve put on
the sales, but that says more about the extent to which they’ve copied.

“It would actually be refreshing for us if they would come up with something new.”

editor Paul Merrill said Nuts had been forced to sell more issues at
cut price in order to maintain its lead over Zoo, while Zoo was selling
more copies to upmarket readers.

He added: “We’re more than happy
to let Nuts buy an ABC lead through endless cut pricing. Zoo is the
smarter, more premium men’s weekly – the only one to take football
seriously, champion young comics and get excited about new music.

“We’re the fastest growing men’s mag because readers prefer us as we’re funnier and don’t just rely on girls.”

However, Fuller insisted he was “absolutely delighted” with Nuts.

added: “Every magazine publisher uses different marketing and
promotional strategies to drive their sales. We have used discount
pricing to drive ours and so has Zoo. We’ve also used television ads to
drive sales and so has Zoo.

“I would be very nervous of any
argument that tried to suggest there was a moral high ground in using
one kind of promotion over another.”

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