The revamp packs in nearly 30 pages of fashion, offering a range of styles and ideas, from the 'Top 30 practical summer essentials' to more sophisticated dresses. There's a 'real boy' segment, with 21pages of semi-clad lads, and a truly tasteless 'Shocker' section. The latter includes a picture of a two-headed pig and an X-rated problem page. Throw in an article about a drugged sex slave and you get an idea of the tone for which Emap seems to be striving. Other content is more familiar; namely a celebrity-led cover story featuring Keira Knightley, some love advice and a diet feature.
Emap's research highlighted readers' desire for more celebrity news and gossip. But the fact that celebrity coverage can also be stylish seems to have eluded it. There is nothing new about seeing Jodie Marsh's undercarriage, Jordan's bottom or Posh's nipples. Somehow you feel all the changes have missed the mark slightly. There is no aspirational or sexy feel to the magazine. Instead, the overall effect is rather tacky, something to which the A5 format seems to contribute, rather than overcome.
On the evidence of this first issue, it doesn't look as if Sugar has very much to worry about.
- Publisher Emap Elan.