TED’S EXCELLENT PURSUITS: Although the news organization shuttered its arts and culture desk called Muse in November, Bloomberg is gunning for a larger luxury and lifestyle play — both online and in print. And it’s turning to Bloomberg Pursuits, its one-year-old luxury magazine, as an integral piece of the puzzle.
This story first appeared in the February 18, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to Pursuits editor Ted Moncreiff, the title is trying to extend its reach into the women’s fashion market, despite the fact that 60 percent of the magazine’s readers are men. “There’s a lot in here for both sexes,” Moncreiff said of the spring issue, pointing to the fashion spread shot in the United Nations, following the final stages of the building’s $2.1 billion renovation.
The issue, which will be released by March 15, features a stronger fashion angle, albeit a “Bloomberg-ized” one that centers on workwear.
Although it isn’t the first recent fashion shoot at the UN — Vogue shot National Security Advisor Susan Rice in its September issue — Moncreiff noted that what’s interesting is that Pursuits was able to gain access to key locations, such as the Security Council Chamber, post-facelift. “Nothing was off-limits,” said the editor, who admitted that convincing the UN to allow Pursuits in to shoot took four “long” months of negotiation.
Shot by Ralph Mecke on Jan. 9 and 10, the spread depicts scenes from inside the halls of the UN, as well as in front of UN Plaza, and it accompanies a feature on the renovation penned by Justin Davidson.
Other stories in the issue, which has logged 40 advertising pages, or a 26 percent increase over last spring, include a profile on 77-year-old Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz’s obsession with looking and feeling younger, a spread on watch complications and a feature on street art in Paris.
According to Michael Dukmejian, publisher of Bloomberg Markets Media, which includes Pursuits, the goal for the magazine is to produce stories that appeal to both a male and female audience, and in turn, luxury advertisers selling both men’s and women’s fashions. The spring issue has picked up Bottega Veneta and Bovet Watches as new advertisers. Others include travel-centric advertisers such as Kiawah Island, Sentient Jet and the office of tourism in Monaco.
Dukmejian said internal research on Bloomberg terminal users indicated the desire for more lifestyle and luxury coverage.
Subscribers of the Bloomberg terminal get Pursuits for free. Dukmejian estimated the title’s circulation to be 375,000. That figure comes from the fact that there are 340,000 installed terminals and another 30,000 individuals who subscribe to Markets and Pursuits. The last 5,000 come from newsstand sales, mainly in airports.
The publisher said perfecting Pursuits is the first piece of the puzzle, followed by fine-tuning its iPad app. Lastly, and perhaps the most important, is rolling out a rigorous digital launch, which will begin taking shape this year. Digital includes Web and video, and it will encompass Pursuits content, in addition to content from Bloomberg reporters. It’s part of the restructuring linked to closing Muse, Moncreiff said, adding that while he’ll hire a deputy editor — bringing the head count for full-time edit staff on Pursuits up to two, including him — the majority of new hires will be for the Web site.
“It’s a big and appropriate initiative,” Moncreiff said, of Bloomberg’s luxury endeavor. “To me it feels natural. Initially, I think they were focused on a terminal business but then suddenly they realized they had this audience. They now understand that yes, they [terminal users] are highly affluent, but affluence isn’t just collecting money and hoarding it in a storage facility like ‘Breaking Bad.’ It’s part of a lifestyle, you’re educated and you want to be spending. It’s art and it’s philanthropy. It’s all these other things that are inextricably intertwined.”