By Paul Pannone
Since booting Mille Martini Bratten in 2011 changes at Brides magazine reflects the overall revamp at Conde’ Nast since Chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. hired management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in 2009. The removal of Bratten was the number two most read eWedNewz story for 2011 topped only by the shutdown of Encore Studios.
The jury is still out for the Brides revamp.
After years of criticism by advertisers and the constant pressure digital competition, critics say they’re watching the high and mighty come crashing down, despite efforts to save whatever is left of their business.
Sources weighing in on the revamp of Brides this month say they’re seeing the softening of a once very rigid and regimented Conde’ culture. Some point back to eWedNewz reporting citing the unprecedented time when they actually communicated– never mind admitting to an error. All took notice of Bride’s participation in New York; something that would never had happened in their glory days.
On and on, the past is dredged up since eWedNewz reported Brides magazine would be getting fatter earlier this year. Critics have lined up to throw rocks at Brides, Conde and its management for past transgressions. Now that the magazine’s revamped May issue is out, eWedNewz sifts through the reviews, comments and assertions to find out what people really think.
Critics– and believe me there are plenty– give their honest assessment, trying hard to understand what is to be accomplished over the long haul. Some feel the edits are better than they were in the past. Descriptions of younger, smarter, chique and more relative to the average consumer are heard. As a business and revenue generating entity is where the magazine takes it on the chin.
According to sources the magazine looks and feels different with the use of better paper. The toughest critics say it’s a smokescreen to hide the slight differences in advertisers. Assertions say fragrance and cosmetics advertising are all Conde Nast Group buy advertisers and doubt there is any additional revenue in the end.
Trained eyes saw the use of three consecutive front covers used by Entertainment Weekly in the past. Advertising pros saw three different designers and at least two different models for the three covers featuring Elie Saab, Yumi Katsura and Liancarlo gowns. The toughest critics say there was little new innovation; rather better implementation of existing features used in the new Brides format.
Following the coverage from other sources some cite fluff pieces that say Brides pages are up by 2% in the May issue. While any increase is a positive in this economy, further examination compares a 2% increase of about 300 pages (+6 pages) hardly makes up for the 100 page reported loss in the first quarter of 2012.
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