The editors of the overseas editions of Cosmopolitan have just had a get-together in New York. And the tales they told!
Cosmopolitan publishes no less than 59 overseas editions. It is read, it claims, by at least 70 million women around the world.
This year it added three new editions – Denmark , Chile and Georgia.
Outside America its largest circulation is in Russia – where it sells well over a million copies every month. That entitles it, it’s said, to claim to be the largest magazine circulation in Europe.
But publishing a foreign edition of a big American magazines is not always that easy – as some of the editors at the get-together confessed. It’s not just a question of re-publishing what’s in the American edition, especially a magazine with such a notoriously sexy image.
For example Indonesia prohibits sexy stories, unless they involve a husband and wife. The reason: sex before marriage is forbidden. Also, as Fira Basuki, editor of the Indonesian edition, explained even fashion and beauty stories can be a problem.
Women in Indonesia, she explained, believe white skin without freckles is beautiful. The problem: the parent edition of Cosmo features a lot of the opposite.
Also some activist groups in Indonesia want to see women wearing traditional clothes. Basuki claims she has kept the protesters at bay by using few cleavage shots and limiting miniskirts.
As for India, which claims to have the largest number of newspaper and magazine readers in the world (well over 200 million) and also uses probably more newsprint than any other country in the world, the latest issue of Cosmopolitan set a new world record.
It ran to l,016 pages and weighed a hefty 4.95 lbs. An historic moment, claimed Mala Sekhiri, publishing director of Cosmo’s Indian edition. Adding that it was the biggest of any Cosmo edition anywhere ever.
Her target, she admitted., was to beat the Russian edition’s record of 850 pages, That was two years ago. “I told them then” she said "that India would soon catch up."
The bumper issue – which cost $2.20 (just a little over a pound) a copy – came in five sections, bundled together in a plastic sleeve, making is easier to hold. But, unlike some other countries, it had no problem with its contents – which included “Seven Sex Styles Cosmo Girls Must Try” and “The New Anatomy of Infidelity”. Plus a whopping 500 pages of ads – the equivalent of about three months ads in a normal edition