Will a free men's magazine succeed?
Media Week recently reported that a free magazine aimed at 18 to 35-year-old men is to launch in September. Its content will include sport, entertainment, motoring, travel and news but is this what readers want? Here you can see a short video on what potential readers think about a free men's magazine and what they want to see in it.
The weekly magazine, to be called ShortList, is being launched by a new company fronted by former FHM editor Mike Soutar and backed by film producer Matthew Vaughn and French Connection founder Stephen Marks, writes Nikki Sandison. It will be edited by Phil Hilton, the former Nuts editor and will launch with a half-million circulation.
ShortList will be distributed nationally to commuters in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and West Yorkshire, backed by a £2m marketing budget. It is expected to compete with paid-for weeklies Nuts and Zoo and the free weekly Sport.
Marketing reported last week that Soutar is planning a two-pronged campaign to build the brand Alpha One, the codename for ShortList. An agency is being sought to handle the work, which will target both consumers and businesses. Soutar has ruled out a TV advertising campaign, with the activity set to focus on unorthodox media. The company has already tied up distribution deals with a number of gyms and fashion retailers and is in talks with a major coffee shop chain.
Karl Marsden, who resigned as commercial director of News International's News Magazines joins as managing director. He was previously commercial director of IPC's men's division, Ignite!
Hilton, who was launch editor of Men's Health and Nuts, becomes editorial director. Tim Ewington, a research and strategy consultant, who has worked on print and digital launches for The Guardian, the BBC and Lastminute.com, joins as strategy and digital director. Matt Phare, formerly creative director for Emap's men's portfolio, is the creative director.
The investor group in the new company, which will have "a mid-to-high seven figure" financing, will be headed by former IPC chairman and Emap group managing director Sir David Arculus.
The investors are: GLG Partners LP, a British hedge fund; DC Thomson, the Scottish publisher; French Connection's Marks; and film and media company, Marv Partners, led by Vaughn and Kris Thykier. Vaughn was the producer of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Layer Cake and is married to model Claudia Schiffer.
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