Monday, February 20, 2006

Empty Arena

After the drubbing most lads mags took in the ABCs last week, Emap's Arena was one of the few magazines to show a rise, up 5.6% to 49,296 in the last six months more than 11% on the year.

A magazine that has been in decline for years seems to have arrested some of its fall. It's not difficult to work out why. It now just apes the competition and is virtually indistinguishable from its bigger-selling rivals.

 With its nine pages devoted to Tess "blonde in underwear of the moment" Daly, six pages devoted to an erotic Agent Provocateur film, not to mention cover lines crying out for attention "Sex talk: Could you say no to Lolita" followed by "My Dominatrix hell", you can see where it's all going.

Oh there is a "World Exclusive" interview with former daytime presenter and sex weirdo John Leslie. By world exclusive, I take it they were joking as clearly no one cares.

Arena is something like a poor man's GQ/FHM wannabe. It wants to be one or the other, but is sort of adrift, seeking a role without any ideas of its own, which explains (circulation rise or not) why it sells less than 50,000 copies a month.

But at least the magazine can do one thing with gusto, sadly that's glibness masquerading as controversy.

What were they were thinking by including British Fascists in the list of people who need to "Smile" in the five page (a Philipa Page special) feature. The British Fascist entry begins "Loathsome as they maybe…" and really it should just stop there.

All this from a magazine that styles itself as "The smartest men's style magazine in the world". Posted by Picasa


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