Does not compute! Gadget lovers say NO to scantily-clad women on tech mag covers
By Deni Kirkova
7 July 2014
The Daily Mail
The age-old marketing mantra ‘sex sells’ doesn’t have the same effect on gadget fans, it seems, as Stuff magazine reveals putting sexy girls on the cover actually makes sales fall.
The gadget magazine, which launched 19 years ago, became famous for featuring ‘girls with gadgets’ on their front cover and inside too.
But publishers announced this week that they will be scrapping the tactic throughout the title.
Stuff told MailOnline: ‘What we found is that a proportion of readers thought the cover models gave the wrong impression of the content of Stuff.
‘Some didn’t like the magazine lying around their homes in case the cover gave guests the wrong idea, others didn’t want to read it in public.
‘With technology being a subject of such universal appeal, we needed to address this – and we have.’
Editor-in-chief Will Findlater said: ‘Stuff was launched in 1996 at the peak of the lads’ mag era.
‘Nearly 20 years on – and with tech now an indispensable part of everyday life – our readership has changed.
‘The covers used to help our position on the newsstand but our research tells us this is no longer the case.
‘We want the cover to reflect what Stuff is about: the best technology in the world.
‘Our new look will make it easier for us to bring our award-winning coverage of the cleverest, most forward-thinking new gadgets and software to readers united by their passion for technology – and nothing else.’
The Haymarket-owned title has a circulation of around 77,000 and has seen its audience shift massively over the past two decades, now comprising of 40 per cent women.
Stuff has decided it’s time for a change and say this is motivated by changing readership.
They ran focus groups to critique a range of covers and digital audience profiling, followed by cover trials on the title’s April, May and June issues.
A fifth (20 per cent) of the print run was devoted to covers without sexy cover girls in four regions of the UK.
Sales of the non cover girl issues increased by 10 per cent in April, 7 per cent in May and 6 per cent in June.