Is the metrosexual dead and buried? If Emap’s new Zoo magazine is any reflection of the bloke to snag ratio, then yes. And Famous
magazine, launched today by Pacific Magazines, is betting that there’s
no limit to a girl’s fascination with celebrities, since they form the
entire basis of the magazine. These two latest additions to the already
overcrowded magazine market are set to test the theory that new
magazines can’t succeed in Australia’s tiny market.

For Zoo and Famous,
the biggest point of difference, apart from their low end production
values, is that they’re released on Mondays, which means they can
capture weekend news and gossip while it’s fresh. Both publications
mirror overseas magazines like Us Weekly and Zoo in the UK by producing magazines over the weekend with dirt cheap production values and very little copy.

Famous‘s
editorial promises “a reason to look forward to the beginning of the
working week,” already setting it apart from its gossip-laden
counterparts. Publishing on Mondays, mirroring FPC’s new Star
magazine, is also a way of getting a jump on the thousands of blogs and
new sites successfully feeding people’s insatiable thirst for gossip. B & T
reports that overseas, the celebrity magazine boom is growing even
stronger, with circulation figures in the weekly US market increasing
114% over the past five years, and in the UK increasing 33%.

Zoo
, which promises “sex, sport and stupidity,” isn’t all that different from Pacific’s Explode,
the recently launched mini lads’ mag aimed at 12 to 25-year-olds. But
in a piece of promotional mastery, the magazine is offering blokes
$10,000 if they manage to bed Paris Hilton during her upcoming
promotional tour. “All you have to do to win the swag is prove you’ve
been intimate with the sexy blonde by providing evidence (DNA swab or
photographic proof) and then tell your story in an entertaining way…”

On the female side of the fence, Pacific promises that Famous “says what you’re thinking before you’ve consciously thought it.” The magazine, launched today, makes Women’s Weekly and New Idea look
positively intellectual, but given that those magazines are stripping
back their crosswords, recipes and human interest stories in favour of
more celebrity gossip, Famous‘s heady mix of fame and fashion could be just what readers are looking for.

Peter Fray

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