Jun 27, 2014

A ‘brave’ cover, but will it sell? Women’s Weekly puts its money where its mouth is

It's not unusual for the Australian Women's Weekly to feature someone not known for their modelling on the front. But July's cover is still, for the magazine industry, shocking. If it flops, it could be a long time before anyone takes the risk again.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

The Australian Women’s Weekly is Australia’s most-read women’s publication, with a circulation of  451,000. It remains popular as many magazines falter. Going on 81 years old, its readership skews older (24 to 54 according to the rates card), and is more inclined to appreciate so-called “real people” on the cover. Previous Women’s Weekly cover girls include former prime minister Julia Gillard, former Queensland premier Anna Bligh and publishing legend Ita Buttrose. So it’s not unusual for the magazine to feature someone not known for their modelling on the front. But July’s cover is still, for the magazine industry, shocking.

It’s of burn survivor Turia Pitt, who in 2011 suffered burns to 64% of her body after being caught in a freak firestorm while competing in a marathon. She wasn’t expected to survive, but has recovered. She’s since raised $180,000 for charities that help burns victims in developing countries.

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6 thoughts on “A ‘brave’ cover, but will it sell? Women’s Weekly puts its money where its mouth is

  1. David Russell

    When I saw the cover yesterday I found it tremendously confronting. Not in the sense that they should not have run it but as a stimulus to reflect on the notions we tend to hold dear about beauty, about courage, about intelligence and about gender. They award Nobel prizes for insights that have the power to change humanity. While Turia Pitt is not the only victim of such tragedy, her qualities as a human elevate her to that level of acknowledgement. In some respects we are all indebted to her for her courage.

  2. SusieQ

    I never buy this magazine and the cover will not make me buy it either, but I do congratulate them for doing this – so sick of airbrushed bimbos on magazine covers. Also agree with your comments too David Russell.

  3. mikeb

    Call me a cynic but someone tells me that the honchos in marketing were thinking “hmm – this will create a bit of a flurry, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.

  4. AR

    MikeB – me too. But, as Sir Humphrey would say, “courageous”.

  5. CML

    I’m with SusieQ, but I don’t buy this magazine in recent times for another reason. I cannot stand that air-head ?deputy editor, Caroline Overington. I wouldn’t buy anything she is involved with.
    Having to endure her partisan drivel on The Drum from time to time is more than enough exposure to that woman.

  6. Paula Martins

    Saw the cover today and felt funny by the fact that woman weekly chose to also add a Chocolate cook book in the front of the magazine. Really did they need that to make sure people would buy the magazine? such a cheap shot.

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