Sapna Nair

‘Marie Claire’ will also talk about women’s issues

The magazine promises to highlight issues that affect today’s Indian women, and not just fashion and trends

‘Marie Claire’, the popular French fashion and lifestyle magazine, which has recently tied up with the Outlook Group, is all set to sail into the already cluttered ‘women’s magazine’ market in India.

But as senior executives at ‘Outlook’ claim, “The magazine will create a distinct identity for itself and the content has been designed accordingly.”

Shefali Vasudev, editorial head of ‘Marie Claire’, says, “Even though we will be in the fashion and lifestyle domain, we will also highlight issues that affect today’s Indian women.”

“We will do investigative stories even if they are politically sensational,” she asserts. For instance, the inaugural issue will carry a story on how a young college girl was threatened with gang rape because she wore jeans to college and another story on a 14-year-old mother.

‘Let Me Be Me’ is the theme around which the Indian magazine is positioned.

Following the trend, the Indian ‘Marie Claire’ also has a celebrity on its cover – this time it’s Preity Zinta. Maheshwar Peri, president and publisher, Outlook Group, says, “While a popular face will help us get the initial attention that we require now, the distinctive content will actually engage the readers and also bring them back.”

To substantiate his view, Peri reveals that ‘Marie Claire’ has won not just the Best Fashion Magazine award in France, but also the Best Magazine award.

While the magazine is now open to featuring celebrities on its cover, in the future, it plans to have the faces of tomorrow’s celebrities – a trend that is followed by its other international editions. As Peri says, “We first need to establish ourselves and then probably be a platform to create future celebrities.”

While the Indian edition will have 25-30 per cent of content lifted from the international editions, another 25 per cent of the content will be inspired from international content but done from the Indian perspective.

Peri doesn’t think that the Indian edition of ‘Marie Claire’ is a late entrant in the market. He says, “We see every project from a business perspective and there is nothing late or soon. It’s all about doing the right thing at the right time.”

As tariffs on luxury goods fall, he expects many lifestyle brands to enter the country by 2007. These international lifestyle brands will be potential advertisers for a magazine such as ‘Marie Claire’. By that time, ‘Marie Claire’ will also have established itself as a strong player in this category, he says.

The inaugural issue has around 100 pages of advertisement out of a total 228 pages.

The magazine is currently running a radio campaign to create awareness amongst its target group in India. To promote the magazine, the group plans to employ below-the line, outdoor and radio. Suresh Selvaraj, associate publisher, Marie Claire India, says, “We will tie up with salons and fitness centres and arrange for ‘Marie Claire’ Nights in popular lounges and discos. We also plan to promote women oriented movies.” In addition, the magazine will tie up with network marketing companies such as Tupperware and Amway for subscription drives.

‘Marie Claire’ is currently priced at Rs 50, which is reasonable as compared to its international editions. The initial print run is said to be about 60,000.

When asked about the financial agreement between the two partners, Peri says, “Although we can’t reveal details, there is a licence fee agreement between us, no revenue sharing.”

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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