Packed cover to cover with haute couture, supermodels and celebrities, The Telegraph Fashion Supplement is the kind of upmarket magazine that style mavens love to devour along with their latte and French toast on a lazy Saturday morning. Published twice yearly, the posh supplement of the Telegraph is distributed to 350,000 households in London and the South East region. The magazine’s key target group consists of affluent consumers who expect value for money and enjoy a publication of immaculate quality.
Magazine of the Year
“It has very strong content and high production values, which cannot be underestimated in this niche market. From the reader’s perspective, it’s very upmarket, and the advertising is high-end,” says Paul Brady, Operations Director at Telegraph Media Group.
The magazine stood out at the 2016 news awards in London last April, where it was selected as the winner of the National Supplement/Magazine of the Year award. Celebrating its 21st anniversary next year, news awards is a UK event celebrating excellence in Print, Digital and Business innovation.
The Telegraph attracts affluent readers and high-end advertisers with its luxury supplements
The judges praised the supplement’s “clean finish, excellent bleeds, great design and sharp images,” adding that “the luxuriant velvety finish has a good feel to it.” They also praised the great choice of paper stock, which helped The Telegraph secure the top spot and stand out from competing entries. “It gives [the magazine] a lift and really lends itself to the product,” they commented.
The paper stock in question is UPM Cote Matt. “We previously used different paper, but then we came across Cote, and we love it! It has gone down extremely well with Editorial and with advertisers also,” says Brady.
Go-to advertising vehicle
While many magazines continue to struggle with declining subscriptions and newsstand sales, The Telegraph Fashion Supplement has been going strong for 15 years. “Luxury still sells. Magazines like ours still remain the go-to advertising vehicle when clients want to showcase their brands to a wide audience, and we produce a lot of spin-off supplements around luxury – luxury foods, luxury goods, luxury travel and so on – and obviously we want a luxury paper to go with it,” states Brady.
As head of printing operations at the Telegraph Media Group for over 15 years, Brady can appreciate a paper that ticks all the boxes for superior technical performance. “Cote has all the assets we are looking for. It has a nice bulk and a very good shade. It prints wonderfully and maintains a finish which complements strong colours. It’s impressive for a matt paper to have such a super-smooth finish,” he describes.
Brady has “a great working relationship” with UPM, one of the Telegraph Media Group’s premier long-standing suppliers. “I’m very happy to work with UPM. People are open, collaborative and very honest. They come and see us regularly and always make themselves available. They give us a good overview of the marketplace.”
When asked to predict the future of print in the digital age, Brady gives a thoughtful hum. “It’s a difficult call. I think we’ll be seeing reduced circulations on national newspapers, but more bespoke and niche products. Readers will continue to want informed opinions and good journalism rather than just bites of Snapchat.”
Brady believes that print and digital media can coexist to mutual benefit. “All of our journalists are already working across both media – the two aren’t enemies. What is more worrying is that readers who consume news, as well as advertisers, are generally moving away from traditional media to the huge cauldron of digital advertising in the Instagram world.”
The Telegraph’s newspaper strategy going forward is to maintain its core readership base and advertising revenues by focusing on its standout assets: journalistic quality and high-end production values. “People aren’t stupid. They know a high-quality product when they are reading one.”