With the disclosure of September’s advertising page totals came the usual hyperbolic boasts from publishers eager to wow female readers, advertisers and the press. The issue is “the second largest in Vogue’s history” chirped a press release from Condé Nast — 665 ad pages. Not one to be outdone, Hearst Corp. claimed “the biggest issue of Elle ever” — 442 pages — “and the biggest issue ever published by Hearst Magazines.”
As advertising trend reports have gotten more dire every year, publishers are aggressively broadcasting successes where they can find them with fashion magazines as the exception to the decline. In the first half of the year, total advertising pages declined 4.9 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau, but the big fashion titles were the exception to the trend, posting upticks that were decent, if smaller next to last year’s comparatively blockbuster numbers. Read on to find out how your favorite fashion magazines are doing this September.
The overall percentage gain this year for powerhouse Vogue is not in the double digits, but 1 percent, or five pages more than last year at 663 pages. Elle posted an increase of 12 percent for a total of 442 ad pages. Harper’s Bazaar, also posted a double-digit increase, 10 percent to 397. Marie Claire continues to be a headache for competitors — with 246 pages, 13.5 percent above last year. Vanity Fair, can expect a lucrative October with the magazine’s 100th Anniversary Issue but its September, touted as its style issue, also had a healthy margin, up 5 percent to 234.
InStyle’s September issue ended up with 455 pages, about a 3 percent increase from last year’s 440. W’s new publisher Lucy Kriz, reported 288 pages, up 17 percent. Glamour is boasting an 18 percent gain over last year, the largest rally percentage-wise at 4 Times Square, for a total of 224 pages. Cosmopolitan’s 171 pages may be on the thinner side, but fashion advertising has increased 26 percent and a 16 percent rally from last year.
People StyleWatch reported 190 pages, up 3 percent; Allure had 147 pages, up 12 percent; Town & Country had 113, up 14 percent; Lucky had 137, up 1 percent, and Women’s Health, from Rodale, normally one of the most anemic of the women’s books, claimed about 88 pages, up a whopping 48 percent from last year’s low point of 63 pages. Redbook at 88, up 0.2 percent from last year. Among the teen magazines, Teen Vogue continues to beat Seventeen, 162, a 12 percent increase, to 110, up 2 percent.
Resurgence of advertising can also be seen in men’s magazines as well, Esquire delivered a 26.5 percent increase for 124 pages and Details saw a 6 percent gain for 148 pages, while GQ, at 205, posted a 1 percent gain Between the fitness titles, Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health, the latter is still winning their match, 89 to 80.
“Fashion is our bread and butter,” Details magazine Editor-in-Chief Dan Peres said. “Our readers aren’t coming to us for a 5,000-word piece on the Syrian conflict. They’re coming to us for luxury fashion.” It doesn’t hurt that advertisers will lap it up, too. “Surely our marketing partners aren’t going to be disappointed,” Peres said.