'Newsweek' gives pride of place to regional interest

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The Independent Online

The international magazine Newsweek has been revamped to appeal to an intercontinental audience - displaying a different front cover on editions for different countries

At first look, Londoners may have been delighted to see the Lord Mayor of London's building on the front cover of the magazine underneath the headline "Capitals of Style".

Readers could have been forgiven for thinking that, around the world, foreign tourists were heading to their travel agents, a copy of Newsweek tucked under their arms and yearning to travel to the Square Mile. But in Italy, Gabriele Albertini, the Mayor of Milan, was probably equally ecstatic at finding his own city heralded as a style capital on the cover of the same magazine. Mr Albertini's edition of the periodical featured the glass-roofed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade (that image was also shown throughout continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

Newsweek readers in Brazil, though, were looking at a cover that celebrated the architectural delights of Sao Paolo. In Japan it was Tokyo in the spotlight and, in India, it was Bangalore. Meanwhile, the domestic US edition (distinct from the international version) carried a design special but focused on products not cities.

Mark Borkowski, a public relations specialist, described the multitude of covers as a "clever marketing exercise" that disguised the American origins of the magazine.

"Since 2001, it is difficult to get Europeans to buy into American culture," he said. "Once, Newsweek was a global magazine and everyone was interested in in America. There seems to be less respect for that since the Iraq war."