Novus Marketing Takes Over Weight Watchers AccountGrowing Weight Watchers File

Publishers look for mass special-interest titles just as mailers look for highly targeted lists. Weight Watchers Magazine, with its expanding editorial content and increasing circulation, delivers both.

The Weight Watchers file, now managed by Novus Marketing, Tarrytown, NY, is currently 1.029 million names strong, but Weight Watchers publisher Jeff Ward said circulation has jumped to 1.15 million this year and predicts it will grow to between 1.5 and 2 million.

“It's a very big market,'' Ward said. “There are millions [of women] interested in this subject. This is the only magazine that relates editorially directly to weight management. It really has the category to itself.''

Weight Watchers has undergone a complete editorial overhaul since being purchased by the Southern Progress division of Time Inc. in 1996. The focus of the magazine was expanded from dieting to encompass the complete healthy lifestyle. Thirty percent of the magazine still is devoted to food and diet, with another 30 percent covering beauty and fashion, 20 percent health and fitness and 10 percent inspirational topics.

The magazine also has increased in size to a minimum of 120 pages per issue. It is currently published six times per year, but beginning with the September issue will be published nine times annually.

Weight Watchers is read mostly by women with a median age of 46 and household income of $42,000. The file is currently being used for publishing, health and health-related recipe offers but Novus account executive Bruce Demaree sees greater potential for marketers who realize what the new Weight Watchers is all about.

“Our challenge is to tell people about the good fundraising usage and also to stress it to any apparel offer or beauty offer,'' Demaree said.

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