Cheryl Cole’s appearance on the cover of the February issue of Vogue pushed the glossy to a record circulation for the month, but the magazine is facing a tough year with the number of advertising pages falling 20% in the current quarter.
The February issue of the magazine, which included an exclusive interview with the Girls Aloud singer and The X Factor judge talking about her marital difficulties with her husband, Ashley, pushed Vogue’s circulation to 240,000 – its best-ever February figure.
Vogue’s latest average monthly circulation figure is 221,090 for the first half of 2008. New Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for the second half of last year will be released today and are expected to show a slight sales drop.
However, the number of pages of advertising have fallen 20% for the February, March and April issues, the Vogue publisher, Stephen Quinn, said.
Quinn added that the media coverage of Cole’s Vogue front cover from quality and tabloid newspapers boosted sales, but that the magazine would not attempt the same every issue.
“I would be worried if the magazine was relentlessly putting a celebrity like that on the cover,” he said. “The girl has clearly got it, whatever it is, I was going to say The X Factor, I know that she is on that programme although I never watch it.”
Quinn added that the media downturn had hit British Vogue later than the American edition and some of the European versions of the title. For the March issue the magazine has raised its price from £3.80 to £3.90.
Last year the UK edition of the magazine contained a record 2,236 pages of advertising. This compared with 2,000 in 1990, falling to 1,500 in the 1991 recession before recovering to 2,000 again in 2001.
The biggest-selling issue of the past 10 years was the December 1999 millennium issue, which had a silver mirror cover. The UK newsstand sale was 142,399 and overall circulation was 241,001.