The editor of a superbrand is leveraging the power of Vogue into a series of spinoffs.
To the vast majority of the magazine industry outside the exclusive world of Conde Nast and Vogue, Anna Wintour is more a caricature than a multi-dimensional businesswoman. Sometimes revered, sometimes feared, sometimes lampooned, she’s been described as Nuclear Wintour, and as the alleged inspiration for the editor in The Devil Wears Prada.
But over the last several years, Wintour has been the driving force in taking the power of Vogue, the magazine known as "Big Mama," and leveraging it into two significant spinoffs. The first, Teen Vogue, came in 2003. Teen Vogue generated 468 ad pages in its first year, producing $17.2 million in revenue, according to Publishers Information Bureau. In 2005, with a frequency of 10 times, it generated 1,000 ad pages, good for $77.6 million in PIB revenue, overtaking its top competition, Elle Girl and Cosmo Girl.
Then, last year came Men’s Vogue. Despite early doubts, the launch issue was the largest in Conde Nast history, says Vogue spokesman Patrick O’Connell, with 164 ad pages in a total folio of 296 pages. The issue sold 200,000 copies on the newsstand on a draw of about 400,000. The second issue, which came out in February, had 105 ad pages, including 38 pages of new business, O’Connell says. Two more issues will be published in 2006, with Men’s Vogue going to a eight-times frequency next year.
As editorial director of the growing franchise, Wintour recently described her approach: "Whenever I speak to Ralph Lauren about these offspring publications, he always says, ﾑThat’s all fine and good, but you have to keep your eye on Vogue.’ In other words, everything has to stay true to the spirit of the parent magazine."
VITAL STATS: In three years, Teen Vogue has raced past its competition in ad pages and dollars, according to PIB. And Men’s Vogue, with 164 pages, was the most ad-laden launch in Conde Nast history.