IPC senior press officer Edwina Jenner said: ‘We are exploring opportunities for Loaded’s tenth anniversary. We may use an external agency or we may do it internally.’
The publisher has used Shine Communications on a project basis since May 2001. IPC ignite! PR manager Nicola Woods, who handles most of Loaded’s PR, said: ‘Shine is our agency of choice, so it would be in the talks.’
Two other agencies are understood to be in talks with the publisher.
Michael Frohlich, managing director of Chime Communications-backed venture Resonate, refused to confirm or deny whether it was among the agencies involved. Frohlich, the former managing director of Shine , and the then associate director Graham Drew left Shine in July to set up Resonate.
Loaded’s ABC circulation figures for January-June were down 9.7 per cent on the previous six months at 261,937. Arch rival FHM, from Emap, lost 3.2 per cent of its readership, with sales of 600,568. But compared with January-June 2002, FHM’s circulation grew by 3.4 per cent, while Loaded’s fell by 15.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, Emap is planning to launch a groundbreaking mens’ weekly with the codename Tyson. Braben Company, which handles PR for Emap’s consumer titles, refused to comment on the launch or on whether agencies had been invited to pitch.