ATLANTA — Attempting to capitalize on this city’s development boom, magazine publishers are chasing high-end advertisers and consumers here with three launches.
The three startups are Atlanta Peach, The Atlantan and Pink. The bimonthlies Atlanta Peach and The Atlantan launched this month, while Pink, which plans to publish seven issues a year, was introduced in August. All three are going up against the Emmis Communications-owned Atlanta Magazine, which isn’t taking the new competition lying down — the monthly is boosting circulation of its Atlanta Home quarterly to match the 60,000 of the core magazine.
Pink, backed by private investors, has a paid circulation of 71,500. The circulations of Atlanta Peach, owned by Ocean Drive publisher SOBE News, and Modern Luxury Magazines’ The Atlantan are based primarily on complimentary copies at hotels and other venues as well as subscriptions, with both initially printing about 55,000 copies. The latter two magazines hope to go monthly next year.
Pink’s niche is the upscale professional woman and advertisers include Saks Fifth Avenue, Federal Express, Canyon Ranch and The Home Depot. Atlanta Peach and The Atlantan target the luxury consumer, with content focused on celebrities, fashion, home and social events. Gucci and Cartier are among Atlanta Peach’s national advertisers, and local advertisers include Blue Genes, a denim boutique.
“These kinds of magazines target Boomers and young elite wannabes,’’ said Samir Husni, chairman of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi. “They succeed by creating a new social community, and a sense of belonging. The whole idea is getting in. Readers want their pictures to get in, to show they’ve made it, and publishers shame the advertisers into joining in, showing them that their luxury peers, such as Gucci, Cartier, etc., are in there, too.”
But Atlanta advertising executive John Padgett Powell questioned the long-term viability of multiple publications chasing the same luxury advertiser and consumer base.
“Atlanta’s luxury market, the total amount of advertising money, is strong, and has grown incredibly quickly,” said Powell, media director, The Hauser Group, which has clients such as The Home Depot and Savannah Electric. “But with more publications, advertising budgets are sliced thinner. National magazines target the same audience, and the consumer only has so much time to read.”
Lynn Vining, vice president, general manager, Neiman Marcus at Phipps Plaza in the city’s Buckhead district, said the retailer advertises in media mainstay Atlanta Magazine, a 45-year-old publication that covers local issues, politics and the arts, along with fashion and lifestyle, and advertised in the launch issues of Atlanta Peach and The Atlantan. However, future placement of local advertising hasn’t been determined.
“Atlanta has been perceived as conservative, when it really is a high-fashion city,” and is capable of supporting the magazines, she said.
Sean McGinnis, publisher of Atlanta Magazine, naturally issues a caution about getting too excited about the newcomers: “Atlanta is not South Beach,’’ he said. “Atlanta’s caught between conservative traditional values and becoming a thriving progressive city.”