Media on trial - Magazine Maxim relaunch

Publisher: Dennis

The continued onslaught of topical men's weekly titles, coupled with the apparent ramifications of its previous editor's left-field approach, look to have taken their toll on Maxim.

Readers appear to have been more mainstream than they had been perceived to be and less interested in the darker wit and quirkier proposition that Maxim had become.

With a new editor on board, who has a proven track record in the weekly market, the primary remit has been to reinstate Maxim's broad mass-market appeal to win back the alienated monthly audience and pick up some of the weekly readers.

The fundamental change has been the introduction of "inbox", a new section running throughout the front half. It covers the obligatory areas - girls, gadgets, cars, girls, gadgets and entertainment - plus fashion, which will now run in the front, as well as featuring later in the magazine.

The magazine has been tidied, with a visibly clearer layout that is easier to navigate, with content appearing to be less gratuitous on the whole.

The advertiser mix doesn't vary greatly from the previous five or six issues, featuring big fashion, car, entertainment and cosmetic brands.

But there are many advertisers absent from these categories who might be expected to use Maxim, who may have migrated over time.

Time will tell if the new look can entice them back, but the initial changes are a positive step towards getting it back on track.

The Maxim sales team describes the weekly titles as a girl you would have a one night stand with and the new-look Maxim as a girl you could take home and meet your mum. Let's just hope it's a case of a growing relationship, and not just a one-off family encounter.

Review by Tara Marus, director at BJK&E.

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