Following on from my open letter to Marie Claire magazine on the sheer amount of advertising, I decided to check out some other monthlies. I mean surely none of the other magazines had stopped to the levels that Marie Claire had? If you missed that open letter post you can find it here.
In a magazine you expect a few things don't you, contents, letters page, beauty, fashion, interesting stories and features, celebrity info/interviews and advertising. When I was younger advertising was mainly situated at the back of the magazines with the exception of a few key products that had paid to be featured. The Marie Claire magazine advertising shocked the living daylights out of me because the front and back were saturated in full page advertisements the centre was filled with double page promotional ad's and on each double page, one of them was an ad. The fashion and beauty sections were saturated in product placement and there wasn't much in the way of real stories or interesting features.
So here's the facts on the top 4 glossy August to October mags:
- Marie Claire Magazine
Total Pages: 434
No of Pages Until First Readable Feature: 49
Total Readable Pages: 220 but, 114 are filled with paid product placements.
Ad Pages: 214 - 328 if you include the above product placements.
Clearly there seems to be a pattern with Marie Claire. There really is only a teeny amount of content that seems to be unpaid or non-advertising in this magazine, it's also the most expensive magazine at £3.90 where as only about £1 of that price is worth the content - Are you happy to pay the additional £2.90 for a magazine filled with ad's?
- Instyle Magazine
Total Pages: 258
No of Pages Until First Readable Feature: 32
Total Readable Pages: 121
Ad Pages: 137
Instyle is one of the more expensive magazines and is on par with Marie Claire. It also contains around the same amount of pages as it's lowest counterparts, how does it compare though? Just under half of the magazine is readable and although it's expensive for half of a magazine the content is interesting and the features are quality.
Total Pages: 210
No of Pages Until First Readable Feature: 13
Total Readable Pages: 110
Ad Pages: 100
Cosmopolitan (Cosmo) was the only magazine that included more than 50% to be readable features. There was an acceptable amount of relevant ad's and the content was fresh and interesting. It also only took 13 pages to get to the first readable feature - comparing that with Marie Claire's 49 pages shows how shocking Marie Claire has become.
- Glamour Magazine
Total Pages: 332
No of Pages Until First Readable Feature: 20
Total Readable Pages: 161
Ad Pages: 171
Glamour magazine's the cheapest out of the 4 at only £2. It also contains the second highest number of pages and just under 50% are ad's. Although this is high Glamour made it blatantly clear that the promotional pages were promotional and they hold a clear advertising section at the back. It feels like Glamour care about their readers, they're not trying to con us out of money or trying to be sneaky with their advertising.
Personally Glamour was the clear winner. They had quality features, interesting stories, products and news and were so affordable. Glamour also regularly include awesome freebies with their magazines too which far exceed the price of the magazine. I've had plenty of branded beauty products such as Nails Inc, Stila and Neal & Wolf.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on these facts and figures? Have these facts changed your opinion or will you now try another mag on for size? I think as consumers we have the right to ask for quality readable materials that exceed 50% of the magazine - I get that advertising is how they fund a major part of their business but at the expense of their consumers, surely they need to think of another tactic that doesn't disrespect us paying readers?
Tweet me your thoughts here.