MEDIA: FMCGs eye up men’s titles - FMCG advertisers are turning their sights on the flourishing men’s magazine sector as a way of tapping into a tightly targeted audience. Anne-Marie Crawford reports

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.

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

women’s magazines.

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

of groceries.

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


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