Head of British Vogue Calls out Reckless Industry Behavior

Stephen Quinn has a wake-up call for some in the media. The publishing director of British Vogue had some harsh words to say in a letter he sent out to the industry, according to Gurjit Degun in Campaign.

“Some media commentators are glib and reckless enough to write down print advertising,” Quinn wrote. “Yet it is difficult to downplay the 1,793 display ad pages Vogue published across 2016.”

Degun notes that Quinn’s comments were directed to advertisers and agencies as the publisher launched its ad campaign for the latest issue of the magazine.

Quinn asserts that beauty and fashion advertisers bought more pages this year than last, citing this as “testament to their belief that one stays grounded by placing ads to a devoted, discriminating readership who can afford to buy the products as a lifestyle choice.”

It’s not an either-or situation, as he notes: “Many of the same brands placed digital campaigns in addition, without robbing the print budget.”

This comes, Degun notes, at a time of big change for the publisher.

“British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman is ending her 25-year tenure at the title as editor-in-chief in June, and Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Condé Nast Britain and president of Condé Nast International, is stepping down in August,” Degun notes.

Yet in spite of any changes in the wind, the brand is clearly still mad about print. They are supporting the launch of the March issue with print and out-of-home ads that exhort the fashion-conscious to “buy nothing until you buy Vogue.”

With 216 ad pages, the issue is proof of the continued viability of advertising in the glossy fashion niche. Quinn’s bold proclamation is backed up with some real teeth. It’s nice to see a publisher loudly and unabashedly telling it like it is.