The runaway rises in circulations for men’s magazines, revealed in
last week’s Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, will have come as no
surprise to many FMCG advertisers who have been quietly transferring ad
spends into magazines such as FHM and GQ over the past few months.
So long the mainstay of the standard three-minute TV break, Kellogg,
Unilever, Kraft Jacobs Suchard and Cadbury are just some of the giants
which are turning away from TV as audiences fragment and airtime costs
The shift is clearly more than a momentary blip. Last week, it emerged
that Mars was considering using men’s magazines in a concerted drive to
target 15- to 34-year-old men more effectively with its Snickers
The move into men’s magazines represents a significant shift in attitude
for an advertiser which has traditionally made heavy use of TV and
Many observers believe it is only a matter of time before the big
supermarket chains, such as Tesco, start actively targeting men via
their own magazines.
Nick Taylor, ad director of IPC Magazines, admits Loaded has had talks
with Tesco Metro’s agency, Western International Media, about carrying
ads and believes the fit would be perfect.
Justin Singh, media planner buyer on Sainsbury’s at New PHD, says: ’New
PHD and Sainsbury’s are very aware that the men’s magazine market is
burgeoning at the moment, with the top ten titles giving a communication
channel to around two million affluent young men. This group of
consumers is a very attractive part of many advertisers’ target
Singh says no deal had yet been struck, but that the situation is
assessed on an ongoing basis via various research routes as well as its
huge Reward card database. ’If we wanted to connect the Sainsbury’s
brand with young men, we would see men’s magazines as an option as the
numbers are fantastic at the moment,’ he adds.
Advertisers are also rushing to advertise in men’s magazines because of
a general shift in UK demographics.
Men are staying single longer, the growth in one-person households will
double in the next few years and women are no longer the main purchasers
Men’s magazines offer advertisers an efficient way of reaching huge
numbers of young men, who are traditionally light TV viewers.
Paul Mukherjee, press buying director at MindShare, points out that
magazines can offer a softer retail message. ’If you’re Sainsbury’s you
can say ’Look, we offer meals for one’. But you can also imply that it’s
a great place to meet women if you’re single.’
As men’s magazines continue to rack up the numbers they will inevitably
reel in new advertisers. This has led some of the more successful titles
to re-examine exactly how they sell the medium.
FHM, which has chalked up a 76.3% year-on-year increase in circulation,
is producing a ratecard which reflects areas in the magazine that are
read and approved more readily by readers.
James Carter, FHM’s ad director, says the Bar Room Jokes section is read
more closely than the first right hand page. He is now constructing a
ratecard which fits in with the results of the forthcoming ’Quality of
Reading Survey’, a study into the way people read magazines and
Men’s magazines now compete with national press in terms of circulation
and the market shows no signs of slowing down. As traditional newspaper
advertisers become aware of this change, greater numbers will choose to
use the highly personal magazine medium to target particular
FMCG advertisers who have used men’s titles:
Advertisers considering using men’s titles:
Kraft Jacobs Suchard