Male winners

July to December circulation figures for glossy magazines start trickling out this week in their usual uncoordinated way. One of the clearest winners is GQ, Conde Nast's magazine for stylish single men, which reports a 25.7 per cent increase to 126,227 over the same period in 1993. Esquire, published by National Magazines reports a 22 per cent increase to 110,583.

After six years, men's magazines are becoming mainstream: no wonder a customised British version of the hit US title Men's Health has just been launched.

GQ's publishing director, Peter Stuart, says it has been helped by marketing and promotion, including a free blues cassette and a paperback novel attached to the cover, a money-off link with the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and a poster campaign. But the most successful issue was one with a view of Naomi Campbell's sandy buttocks on the cover.

Rival publishers say sourly that GQ sells to Kevins in Croydon who will never be able to afford the Armani suits its pages feature. Mr Stuart replies that the average GQ man is single, 29, with a good disposable income: "He's on the way up, the sort of job he has is in management, the City, finance, or estate agencies."

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