Pick Me Up revamp is encouraging for real-life magazine sector

Pick Me Up hit the shelves last week with a refreshed design boasting new fashion pages and that press buyers' favourite when targeting housewives during their coffee break - new puzzles and competitions.

Publication: Pick Me Up
What has happened? Relaunch
Owner: IPC Media

Circulation: 426,327 (Jul-Dec 2007) up 0.5% year on year

The revamped Pick Me Up has a new glossy cover to showcase its real-life articles, a redesigned logo, refreshed layouts and new bargain fashion coverage.

The cover price remains at 68p. IPC's move comes amid growing competition in the real-life stories sector, which includes News Magazines' Love it! and Bauer's Take a Break.

There's still plenty of room for attention grabbers including features such as: "I went to bed a boy and woke up a girl" or "Our dog's so fat you can see him from space". As someone who works on a dog food account, this is music to my ears.

Most encouraging is that IPC is supporting the changes with a print and TV campaign, a considerable investment in a sector that's hardly been recognised for its circulation gains of late.

With News Magazines' Love It! potentially up for sale, perhaps IPC sees this as the right time for a makeover of Pick Me Up to take a stranglehold on the real-life weeklies sector.

The visibility of an above-the-line campaign is healthy for all involved with weekly magazines, publishers and agencies alike.

The concern must be that once the promotion budget dries up, can Pick Me Up continue to grow or at least hold its circulation?

IPC does not appear to have many running mates in terms of other publishers putting promotional spend behind traditional and real-life women's weeklies, so it's largely down to it to keep this sector at the forefront of consumers' minds.

What's good?
This is a refresh, rather than a launch.

What could be better?
Ringtone ads on the back cover might scare off some advertisers.

Would I book my clients into this?

Tom Wilkinson, business director, investment, MindShare.

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