Haymarket’s Stuff drops cover models as research shows they alienate readers

Haymarket’s gadet magazine, Stuff, is to drop scantily-clad models from its UK front cover after feedback suggesting such images were alienating readers, reports The Guardian.
Stuff, which has used images of ‘girls with gadgets’ on its covers since its launch in 1996, said focus groups and sales trials had shown that cover girls were out of touch in a post-lads’ mag era.
“Stuff was launched in 1996 at the peak of the lad mag era,” said Stuff editor-in-chief Will Findlater. “Nearly 20 years on – and with tech now an indispensable part of everyday life – our readership has changed. The covers used to help our position on the newsstand but our research tells us this is no longer the case.”
Stuff, which has a monthly circulation of more than 77,000, has seen its traditional audience shift dramatically over the past two decades with 40 per cent of readers now women.
The title ran focus groups to critique a range of covers. This was followed by sales tests of Stuff’s April, May and June issues with 20 per cent of the print run devoted to ‘non-girl’ covers in four regions of the UK.
Sales of the ‘non-girl’ editions outstripped those with the magazine’s traditional covers.

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