Media Profile: Putting the sisters on Red alert - Kathryn Brown, editor, Red

If you haven’t heard of Red then you haven’t been reading the papers, or looking at posters or watching the TV news or going to the cinema or ... well, if you haven’t heard of Red then, basically, you shouldn’t be working in PR.

If you haven’t heard of Red then you haven’t been reading the

papers, or looking at posters or watching the TV news or going to the

cinema or ... well, if you haven’t heard of Red then, basically, you

shouldn’t be working in PR.



It’s the biggest-spending women’s launch since Marie Claire some 13

years ago and it’s targeting a whole new concept in women - ’middle

youth’.



The term ’middle youth’ serves two functions for editor Kathryn

Brown.



It helps her to stay focused on her reader - something she learned

during her years at Sugar when she was criticised for selling sex to

teenage girls - and it also serves as a brilliant PR tool. So far, the

middle youth idea has been picked up by most of the national newspapers

and was even featured on News At Ten. Brown jokes that it must have been

a slow news day, but she does see the benefits of identifying this new

consumer group.



’The media do love the phrase, but I’ve learned not to get too bothered

by what the media think,’ she says. ’What’s important is that the

readers love the phrase and really identify with it. Middle youth are

women who have a grown up life in one sense - they have mortgages, PEPs,

husbands and maybe even kids - but they still like trendy clothes and

Radiohead and want to see Boogie Nights.’



Children are a major issue for Red and, of course, middle youth. Brown

thinks that women’s magazines are either stylish or feature

children.



She doesn’t see mothers being targeted with style and glamour editorial

while being acknowledged as mothers at the same time. Red accepts the

existence of children, even if you don’t have to have them to read

it.



’Emap has been working on this project for years and it is putting

millions of pounds behind the launch,’ says Brown.



’A number of women at Emap reached their 30s and found they weren’t

loyal to any women’s magazine. They discovered there was a huge gap and

they decided to fill it. I don’t think they went for all these attacks

on women’s magazines that have been in the papers recently - this

research that says they are all frivolous and self-centred. They

realised that magazines are not a cure for cancer but mark an escape for

a few hours.’



Red’s contents will reflect a change to the traditional approach of

women’s titles. Gone are the sex and shopping features that seem to

dominate the pages of most glossies. The feature that Brown is most

proud of is Guardian war correspondent Maggie O’Kane’s first person

account of leaving her ten-month-old son to cover the advance of the

Taliban in Afghanistan.



There’s going to be a lot of lifestyle stuff - interiors, gardens, food

and travel - but done in a down-to-earth way.



’There isn’t going to be pages of loft spaces that no-one can afford,’

Brown points out. ’This is real stuff for real people.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1988

Staff writer, More!

1989

Editor, Girlfriend

1994

Editor-in-chief, Sugar

1996

Deputy editor, Elle

1997

Editor, Red



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in