Essentials adopts 'no models or celebs' cover policy after reader research - Press Gazette

Essentials adopts 'no models or celebs' cover policy after reader research


Women’s monthly Essentials has embarked on a “no models or celebrities” on the cover rule from the October issue onwards, in response to reader research.

Sales of the title grew 12.9 per cent year on year to 115,432 in the first half of this year, according to ABC.

Read the press release from IPC Media here:

In a UK media first for women’s glossy magazines, ten real women are starring on the cover of the October issue of Essentials. The entire issue is model and celebrity-free – from the fashion and beauty spreads, to a naked body confidence photo shoot in the health section.

The decision to give over the cover to real women is due to ‘the fantastic readers we feature each issue,’says Jules Barton-Breck editor of Essentials. ‘So many of these women look, and are, amazing that we wanted to celebrate them. In our recent reader survey 70% told us that they would rather see a real woman on the cover of a magazine than a celebrity, so we’re excited to be the first magazine in the UK to do this every month!”

The nationwide search for the October cover stars started with Essentials asking readers, and women via a social media campaign, to tell the magazine why they were amazing enough to appear on the front cover. Hundreds of women applied and a shortlist were invited to attend a casting session with the editor and style director to select who should go forward.  The ten cover stars are all shapes, sizes and ages and the issue is a celebration of real women.

The issue also signals the launch of a no models or celebrities on the cover rule that will apply from the October issue onwards – only real women will appear as cover stars.

Essentials publisher Ilka Schmitt says: “Celebrating our readers by putting them on the cover is a brave move, but it just feels right for Essentials. Essentials is a woman’s magazine that offers something different and more and more women are discovering that. Seven consecutive year-on-year ABC increases do not lie.”

Essentials magazine recently celebrated an ABC increase of 12.9% year-on-year and is the UK’s fastest-growing women’s fashion and lifestyle monthly magazine.

A series of advertisements to support the October issue will appear across the IPC portfolio including Marie Claire, Ideal Home and Woman magazines and also online. Plus there will be email newsletters and online coverage on Facebook and Twitter, which will include behind-the-scenes footage and photographs from the shoots.



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.