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ADDING UP: If business among the women’s titles looks dismal, men’s fashion magazines don’t have much more to brag about. Men’s monthlies are reporting softer results, as well, as they close out the first half of the year, according to Media Industry Newsletter. Domestic automotive is still dragging down many books, but luxury goods — watches, jewelry and apparel — continue to surge. As a result, just as with the women’s fashion titles, the bright spots are again the more upscale titles. Best Life reported a 17 percent jump in ad pages, to 272, while Men’s Vogue reported an 11 percent increase in pages, to 276. Both magazines are still relatively new compared with their competitors. Men’s Vogue added two issues to its schedule this year, to 10, compared with last year’s eight issues. Men’s Journal posted a 12 percent gain in pages, to 616, while Details came in relatively even with last year’s first half, booking 541 ad pages.
Among the others, GQ, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, is off about 5 percent, with 667 pages, which vice president and publisher Peter Hunsinger attributes to a dearth of inserts from wine and spirits advertisers and a lack of Detroit auto placements (conversely, travel and noncarbonated beverages such as Gatorade and vitamin water have increased their spending with the magazine). Men’s Health reported a 9 percent decline in pages, to 479, while Maxim reported a 1 percent decline, to 381. Over at Hearst, Esquire, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year with fanfare including tribute covers and a special issue in October, is off 6 percent through June, at 432 pages. Publisher Kevin O’Malley seemed unfazed by Esquire’s soft first-half performance, believing the year will end slightly up due to the anniversary issue and its special Esquire’s Big Black Book. — Stephanie D. Smith
A FINE LINE INDEED: Liquor companies often employ sexual images to sell their products, but liquor brand Cabana Cachaça isn’t leaving anything to the imagination in a new multimillion-dollar ad campaign that features naked women wearing nothing but tan lines. For Cabana Cachaça’s consumer advertising debut in the U.S., ad agency Avrett Free Ginsberg gave Mario Sorrenti the tough assignment of selecting Brazilian models to photograph. The only question is — will anyone even notice that bottle of Cachaça in the ad?
As for any thoughts that the nudity might be over the line, Peter Hunsinger, vice president and publisher of GQ, said he didn’t hesitate to run the campaign, noting that liquor ads are an important part of the magazine’s ad business (and in these tough times, every page counts — see above). “There’s always a fine line, isn’t there?” he observed. “But good ads should always be provocative. They aren’t that far off from those Tom Ford or Dolce & Gabbana ads that we’ve seen in the past. We also feel that, because it is Mario Sorrenti, it has an art feel to it that is very relevant.” The ads will appear in the June issues of GQ, Esquire, Men’s Vogue, Details and, of course, Playboy. — Amy Wicks
NEW STAFF: Travel + Leisure has named Nick Pastula from Spin as fashion director on the business side, reporting to publisher J.P. Kyrillos. The magazine’s fashion advertisers include Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Gucci and Hermès. Pastula replaces Alberto Apodaca, who went to Men’s Vogue.
Meanwhile, Brides on Monday tapped Alison Adler Matz as its new publisher, replacing Katherine Rizzuto, who left last week to join In Style as vice president, associate publisher. Matz was moved over from Glamour, where she was associate publisher. She also had been associate publisher at Teen Vogue and House & Garden prior to Glamour. — Irin Carmon and S.D.S.