MEDIA: Men's style titles urged to avoid lads' mag model

Men's magazines such as GQ and Arena need to follow the example of

Esquire and stop attempting to compete with big-selling 'lads' mags'

such as FHM, Maxim and Loaded.

That's the view of Martin Raymond, editor of biannual trends, brands and

culture magazine Viewpoint.

NatMags' Esquire 'is beginning to put its finger back on the pulse',

according to Raymond, and the much-vaunted policy of returning men to

its cover and abandoning images of scantily-clad females marks a

sensible return to the title's traditional values.

Esquire editor Peter Howarth admitted that the magazine had been

'panicked' into following the trend set by Loaded and FHM but had

recognised the futility of attempting to compete.

'We got sucked into that formula,' he said. 'Frankly, we were failing

abysmally. Everyone was terrified of what would happen to news-stand


In the event, there was a 39 per cent drop in Esquire's year-on-year

sales, from 100,000 to 61,000. Nevertheless, Howarth insisted that the

magazine would persist with its cover policy and pointed out that the

magazine has shed readers but retained the advertisers it wants.

Competitors have criticised Howarth's policy.

Raymond argued that the image of masculinity put forward by some

magazines was increasingly outdated. 'They have forgotten two important

things about male consumers: they are intelligent and they do want to

think about what they consume,' he said.

The September edition of Viewpoint will concentrate on the issue of male


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in