MEDIA: WOMEN’S MAGAZINES - Handbags at dawn in women’s sector. With the advent of several new titles and the repositioning of others, it’s all go in the race to win the attention of the independent 30-something woman

The 30-something woman’s market is a tricky one for magazine publishers.

The 30-something woman’s market is a tricky one for magazine


Whereas women in their 20s tend to be starting out in jobs, homes and

marriage, those in their 30s can be high-earning, professional, but

divorced with children and no spare time.

Until recently, this sector has been relatively ignored by the


Now, however, publishers are battling it out to corner the market for

women who have outgrown Cosmopolitan, but aren’t ready for Woman’s


This month sees the launch of Eve, the BBC’s biggest consumer title so

far, and the latest in a line of magazines aimed at sassy, smart,

cash-rich, time-poor 30-year-olds.

With an estimated circulation of 150,000, Eve editor Gill Hudson is

confident the magazine can stand out among what is fast becoming an

overcrowded market.

Already this year Parkhill has launched Aura, Dennis Publishing launched

PS and IPC relaunched Nova. Last September, Woman’s Journal was revamped

and now targets 30 to 40-year-olds, while Red entered the market back in


In fact, Eve’s launch has already made an impact, forcing Parkhill

Publishers to cancel the September issue of Aura due to lack of


’There is a definite market there,’ says Siobhan Kenny, director of

communications for The National Magazine Company. ’If you look at our

mothers, they probably weren’t doing the same jobs and leading the same

lifestyles as women of that age are today.’

Readers of this new breed of emerging titles are thought to be upmarket

older women, who know what they want and don’t want to be


’It’s a difficult sector, as readers could just as easily be a

grandmother as a mother having their first child,’ says Kenny. ’There’s

a huge potential for misunderstanding or patronising.’

Newsagents’ shelves are groaning under the weight of glossies currently

on the market and there are more titles still to come.

Gruner and Jahr’s much anticipated Project Florence publication for

women is set for launch soon, although its fate is somewhat unsure

following NatMags acquisition of G&J.

For PR agencies, there will be a lot more 30-something magazines to

target, but Kenny says the market fragmentation will force more

specialised tactics.

’It’s going to be quality of message rather than quantity, looking at

very specific audiences, but this in many ways may make a PRO’s job

easier,’ she says.

EVE - Gill Hudson

Position: Editor

Frequency: Monthly

Circulation: 150,000 (estimated settledown)

Publisher: BBC Worldwide

’Eve is aimed at a generation of women who have grown up with the

glossies but are beginning to feel that they’ve read it all before. And

that’s because they have. Which is why Eve wants to bring a new tone and

remit to what is a very crowded - but also very homogenous - market.

’For a start, Eve features a much wider range of subjects than you’d

normally expect from a women’s glossy - whether it’s relationships,

fashion, beauty, and health, or less traditional areas like modern art,

the stock market, politics or karate-kicking nuns.

’All Eve cares about is whether something is so interesting to read that

you can’t stop yourself from telling a friend about it.

’People keep asking how old the Eve reader is. We keep replying: who the

hell cares? Eve is an attitude of mind, not an age, and in our book a

smart, sussed 30-year-old has got much more in common with a smart,

sussed 50-year-old than with the kind of 30-year-old whose idea of fun

is changing TV channels.

’What do we want from PROs? With such a broad remit, there’s very little

we wouldn’t be interested in. I can hear rainforests trembling in

anticipation. Or was it the Eve team?’

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING - Lindsay Nicholson

Position: Editor-in-chief

Frequency: Monthly

Circulation: 400,094

Publisher: The National Magazine Company

’Launched in 1922, Good Housekeeping has evolved over the years to

maintain its position as the biggest-selling monthly magazine for

grown-up women.

’In strict socio-economic terms our readers can be described as ABC1

women with an average age of 48. But a scroll through our 150,000-strong

subscriber base reveals senior politicians, surgeons, headteachers,

lawyers, the great and the good plus the movers and shakers in many

smaller communities.

’Backed up by the research facilities of the Good Housekeeping

Institute, we are uniquely placed to advise our readers on the best ways

to spend their time and money. We’re not simply a service magazine.

Riveting features, beauty pages, exclusive profiles and book extracts

all add up to a glossy package that is both supremely informative and


’Obviously I want the PROs who deal with us to understand all that about

GH. It is tedious if they haven’t bothered to research the market, so

our favourites are those who know what we want and deliver on time. What

we are doing is editing the choice on behalf of our readers, so we want

an understanding of the fact that we need to know everything so we can

then filter it for our readers.’


Position: Editor

Frequency: Monthly

Circulation: 133,000 Publisher: IPC Media

’A typical Journal reader could be in her 30s or her 60s, so it’s

difficult to define in terms of age, but in terms of attitude, the

Journal woman is someone who is independent, sophisticated, modern and

knows what she wants and likes.

’We don’t state the obvious - we know these are women who read the

newspapers and know their way around the internet and want something

extra. We provide the feel good, beautiful things that they want. Our

readers are more confident about work and need a magazine for

reassurance on what’s fashionable.

A lot of them also have children, they will either be first time mothers

in their late 30s or early 40s who have had their career first, or women

with grown-up children, that’s why it’s such an interesting market.

’It’s very much a lifestyle magazine. We give a lot of space to fashion

and beauty, food, travel, cars, bars and spas. But it’s not fluffy, our

features have edge and we are able to attract some big names and good


’On the PR side, it’s important that PR people study the magazine and

our target readers. It really helps when they come to us with a specific

idea, which is exclusive to us.’

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