Friday, 14 December 2007

The running joke about some International Herald Tribune readers

According to the blog The Business of Fashion
(which to International Herald Tribune readers sounds rather like the IHT's Business of Green)

"It's a running joke that fashion people buy the IHT, read Suzy's reviews, and throw the rest of the newspaper out. This does not speak to the poor quality of journalism in the IHT, but rather to the high level of respect accorded to Ms. Menkes. Quite simply, there is no other fashion critic like her."

Apparently, "Every 6 months during the fashion weeks held in New York, London, Milan and Paris, fashionistas grab the International Herald Tribune each morning and skip straight to the Style section to see what Suzy Menkes has said about the collections."

It's true that there is no fashion critic like Ms. Menkes, nor any other IHT journalist who so directly delivers advertising dollars to the bottom line.

But have fashion people considered that the real running joke may in fact be that fashion people aren't much interested in anything but fashion?

Lord pity the poor IHT readers who aren't interested in fashion and who every 6 months grab their copy of the IHT and throw away the Style section. (No disrespect to the quality of Ms. Menkes' journalism.)

I would say, that in terms of CPM (cost per thousand readers), the full-colour fashion adverts aimed at this loyal readership of 'fashionistas', has to be about the most expensive global media buy available.

The IHT has finally woken up to just how much more money can be squeezed from such wasteful media buyers, and how as a brand extension IHT fashion can be milked through their Luxury Conferences.

What is not so evident, is that the IHT has also woken up the three following thoughts:
a) What happens if they don't look after Ms. Menkes enough and she goes walkabout - the WSJ for example under Mr. Murdoch?
b) What succession plans do they have for Ms. Menkes, in order to lock in this sizeable revenue, in the eventuality she does go walkabout?
c) How would the departure of Ms. Menkes affect the IHT's profitability targets?

Someday Ms. Menkes will surely retire. What then IHT?

For most readers, hopefully a respite from the domineering Style pages during the shows, but the revenue that will also go with them would hurt the IHT profoundly.

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