MEDIA BEAUTY PRODUCTS: Media Roundup - The ever-changing face ofthe beauty business. If you're looking to pitch beauty products, thenmagazines are the place to start. David Ward discovers that right now,the teen market is the most fertile ground

While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, many media outlets

have built their success by telling readers exactly what products and

styles make them most attractive.



Beauty writers tend to be thought of as self-help gurus, offering

advice about everything from low self-esteem to weight loss to what

eyeliner or lipstick will last the longest. 'The beauty magazines are

really set up as shopping guides,' says Ildy Herczeg, president of

DeVries Public Relations.



But Bill Daddi, EVP at New York-based Lippe Taylor, says it's a mistake

to dismiss what beauty writers do as anything less than traditional

journalism.



'They are true journalists in that they are highly educated about the

products they cover,' he says. 'They know the history and the

ingredients, and they work very hard at trying to reflect the interests

of their target audience.'



When it comes to the subject of beauty, the traditional media behemoths

- national networks and top-tier publications - tend to take a back seat

to more specialized outlets. 'Surveys have found that the majority of

women base their beauty-product buying decisions on women's magazines,'

says Margi Booth, president of M Booth & Associates.



In the past, long-standing women's magazines, such as fashion-oriented

Vogue and Glamour, and the more general-interest Redbook, held sway with

both high-end and mass-market consumers. And while they are still

important, the recent trend has been for cosmetics and hair-care

companies to chase a younger demographic. 'Most of the action is in the

younger end of the segment,' says Daddi.



Indeed, the teen and young women's media market has exploded in recent

years. Traditional publications Seventeen, Teen and YM have been joined

by a slew of new ones - Jump, Twist, Teen People, Vogue Girl, CosmoGirl!

and the soon-to-be-launched Elle Girl.



The 'youth obsession'



John Ledes, editor and publisher of leading trade magazines Beauty

Fashion and Cosmetic World, says that despite the fact that the teen

beauty market hasn't grown much in recent years, a 'youth obsession' has

impacted all aspects of the beauty industry, from branding and

advertising to PR and journalism. 'The positioning is trying to get

everyone to look and feel younger,' says Ledes. '(Magazines) talk to

even the 40-year-old woman like she's younger. You're complimenting her,

but you're also trying to get teens interested in the same

products.'



PR professionals say the most influential journalists tend to be media

veterans such as Kristin Perrotta of Allure; Jean Godfrey-June of the

new Conde Naste magazine Lucky; Vogue's Amy Astley; Didi Gluck from

Marie Claire; Elizabeth Schatz of InStyle and Rebecca Sample of Glamour.

Of all those magazines, Allure is considered the 'beauty bible,' since

it is more focused on cosmetics and hair-care than fashion.



Peter Born of Women's Wear Daily, John Ledes and Doreen Kaplan of Beauty

Fashion, and Jane Larkworthy of W lead the beauty trade journalists. But

there is also a host of highly sought after reporters and editors at

Drug Store News, Chain Drug Marketing, Supermarket News and other

retail-centric publications.



Nancy Lowman LaBadie, EVP of Marina Maher Communications, says most

beauty journalists tend to stay in the field, enabling PR professionals

to build long-term relationships. 'They may switch (media outlets) as

they move along and grow, but you don't see them cover beauty one day

and automotive the next,' she says. The result, LaBadie adds, is that

they tend to understand the science behind product claims.



Booth, who represents Unilever's Dove Beauty Bar, agrees. 'Beauty is

always going to be about glamour, but it's getting a lot more like the

health industry,' she observes. 'When we take our clients to beauty

editors, we often bring along a dermatologist and a nutritionist to talk

about the products as part of women's overall well-being.' In fact, she

says, most beauty editors insist on scientific and health research to

back up claims.



Because the beauty industry depends so much on magazines for its

success, much of its US marketing and PR attention is centered on the

nation's magazine capital, New York. But LaBadie says there has been an

increased effort to reach out to local radio and television. 'We've seen

a big increase in satellite media tours, especially if you have an

expert, an author or a spokesperson that can comment on a trend. We do

ours very, very early in the morning, so they're on the morning news,

and then they're often repeated on later newscasts.'



Going mainstream



Most beauty journalism tends to exist in a world far from the front

pages of general-interest publications. But occasionally a product

breaks in to the mass-market media. Biore Pore Perfect Deep Cleansing

Nose Strips is one such example.



Daddi says that while Biore had no problem getting women's and teen

magazines interested in the product, they wanted a wider audience. So

the company sponsored Lilith Fair, the concert tour featuring only

female artists, and, as a result, engaged general-interest media outlets

throughout the country. Fueled in part by product shortages, Biore nose

strips became a national story covered by USA Today and The Washington

Post, among others.



Along with the focus on youth, there has also been an increased emphasis

on ethnic publications, such as Latina for the Hispanic market, and

Honey, Heart & Soul and Essence, which are aimed at African-American

women. There is also a growing online market, especially for teens and

young women, which has resulted in the launch of sites such as Bolt and

Alloy. Women's community sites, such as iVillage, have also been

targeted.



Surprisingly, another area of beauty journalism that has real, long-term

potential is men's grooming. 'You're already seeing a lot more interest

from publications like Maxim,' says Daddi, adding that men's grooming

editors are very plugged in as far as the trends go, but are still in

the process of figuring out what their audience wants and the best way

to present information. 'We haven't quite gotten to the golden age of

men's beauty products,' he concludes.



WHERE TO GO



Magazines:



Women's: Vogue; Harper's Bazaar; Marie Claire; Redbook; Mademoiselle;

Working Women; Glamour; Lucky; InStyle; Elle; Ladies Home Journal



Teen: Seventeen; YM; Teen; CosmoGirl!; Vogue Girl; Twist; Jump; Teen

People;



Trade Publications:



Women's Wear Daily; W; Cosmetic World; Beauty Fashion; Drug Store News;

Supermarket News; Chain Drug Marketing



TV:



Oprah (syndicated); The View (ABC); Oxygen cable network; Lifetime cable

network; morning news shows



Internet:



Women's: IVillage.com



Teen: Bolt.com; Alloy.com



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