Media / Talk of the Trade: Souffles, not sex

LIFE is sweet for Good Housekeeping, the glossy magazine with a finger on the pulse of 'back-to-basic' values. Its March edition broke the 500,000 circulation barrier, 60,000 more than a year ago, helped by a cookery supplement: souffles, not sex, shift this magazine. The April edition, in sharp contrast to haute couture, offers 50 fashion looks for real women, another cookery supplement, perfect puddings at under 200 calories, and a special stripy blazer offer. Sally O'Sullivan, the editor, says her readers are not just concerned with making perfect jam tarts, they lead incredibly busy lives, are great fillers in of questionnaires, but are not to be confused with the old superwoman. 'You won't find how to be good in bed in Good Housekeeping. We write about personal problems, divorce, adoption, infertility.' The trick of successful magazine editing, she says, is partly pace: 'Your reader must find an image of herself in the first 15 pages.' Turn to page 12 in the April issue and you meet the Good Housekeeping woman of the Nineties, a former career mum aged 37 who has given up her nanny and her job at IBM, hung up her suits and swapped to a thrifty mixture of Laura Ashley, George at Asda and the Oxfam shop for life in a country cottage with her teacher husband. She looks very happy.

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