Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Living the teen dream

You can just hear the voiceover advert now, as the UAE gets its first teen magazine.

It's so dreamy - soon there will be a magazine for me and my friends! We'll get advice on boys, and kissing, and how to dress like Britney Spears or pose semi-naked like Hannah Montana without upsetting our daddy!

Or I'll learn that it's ok to be just like Lindsay Lohan and find love's young dream with another girl! And they'll answer my question of "how far is too far"!

I'll finally know what Jake Gyllenhaal's favourite colour is and the name of the Jonas Brothers' pets!

And just think of all that totally awesome but cheap fashion from Top Shop and Miss Selfridge, that'll make me look like a total Lolita but if I'm lucky, I'll be helping those poor Asian sweat shop kids* at the same time!


Sadly you won't learn anything that's going to actually help you in life: how to make vodka jelly and have a crafty fag without your parents knowing. And you're unlikely to get the answer to your real dilemma: will my parents give me a nose job for my sweet sixteenth if I ask them nicely enough?

Because this new magazine is being launched in Dubai, by ITP, who may well be trying to keep their noses clean. Expect to see pages of fluffy kittens and "how to complete your homework in time" features instead.

For anyone interested in editing this gem of a new title, especially if you have a passion for the female youth market (and don't happen to be a skeezy male journalist working within the hallowed Garhoud halls), then you can apply here):

* DMO is not condoning the use of sweat shops, nor implying that Top Shop and Miss Selfridge use them.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Talk about back to the future... ITP used to publish Disney magazine.

Anonymous said...

topics to be covered:

best stretch on szr to smash up your first porsche

cool ninja prom styles

which first cousin would make the best arranged marraige for you?

spend a day with modesh

meh-- another itp smash n grab gone instantly off the tracks...

Wilson said...

Isn't Gulf Business aimed at preteens?

Anonymous said...

Other topics covered will include;-

"How to abuse your pesky maid even more!"

"Top tips on how to waddle around Shopping Malls all day, bluetoothing that cute fella!"

"Handy hand outs, where to spend your (sizeable) pocket money.

Wilson said...

I hope they have lots of diet tips; way too many fat kids in the UAE.

Anonymous said...

let me guess, lots of market research (interviewing 100 teens from different backgrounds/cultures), qualitative feedback to give to advertisers and agencies....., test market and hey presto....

Err, I think not

Doctor said...

This is NOT the first magazine for teens here. Khaleej Times has Young Times, and Gulf News had Junior News till the mid 90s, when it was renamed to "U" and aimed at an older teen audience. Now it's gone.
P.S. I grew up here, newbies.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why publishers in Dubai just seem to be trying to release "new" types of magazines rather than working on the ones they already have and trying to make existing publications decent. Instead of having a portfolio of 10 magazines, all of which are "the first" (teen, men's weekly, woman's weekly, etc etc) why not have one or two that are actually of a decent standard. Instead of increasing work forces to bring out new magazines (like Dubai needs any more magazines anyway, I can't even walk to the toilets to wipe my ass without a stack of some new shitty magazine dropping on my doorstep) why don't they just increase the work force and give magazines a proper FULL team in order to improve what they already have. what happened to quality over quantity. Other ITP publications could most certainly be honed and bettered rather than just adding a new title.

And while we're on the subject, as a 30 year old professional expat woman I find it ard to believe that there are no decent magazines that speak to me and my lifestyle. In England I would never buy Haarper's Bazaar or Time Out, but in Dubai there eem's to be no other choise. Where are the mid-range fashionable but not fashion magazines? Where's Elle, Cosmo etc? I'm sick of paying up to 100 dhs to import the English versions. why can't we create magazines that are just as good here. When i ring my girlfriends in England and tell them i read Time Out they laugh. Time Out is for 20 year old students, but what other choice do i have? where are the magazines.

some shit ones i have come across:

Ahlan

Viva (have you actually READ it? no, neither has 80 per cent of the other women who buy it)

Insider (do they have a designer? last time i checked a completely red page is not design)

Good Living (better since the re-design but it's so confused-who is it aimed for?)

feel free to add to my list girls...

Anonymous said...

The reason publishers don't invest more in existing magazines is because it's not worth it financially. Most advertisers aren't savvy enough to discern the difference between a shit magazine and a good one. Adding two or three more writers to a mag may (and I emphasise may) bring in a couple more ads, but why would you when the same people can launch a new mag and bring in 10 or 20 ads?

Most mags here have no readership to speak of (an audited print run is not the same) so it doesn't matter what we think of them. Until advertisers start demanding more, it won't change. Publishing is about making money at the end of the day, and you put your resources where the money is.

And I'm pleased someone has finally stopped the Time Out worship. I think it's a real shame if that's the best we can find to hold up as an example of what this market is capable of.

Anonymous said...

The reason they don't launch new titles is simple, its all based around ad revenue. Take one mickey mouse magazine, print 500 copies, hire one student journalist from the UK on 8000 dirhams a month, and make them Editor, and Sub Editor, get a cheap designer and a habibi sales person who can leech $20k per month out of his ropey back hander mates at ad agencies, and away you go. ITP have made a fortune out of this. Look at all of their B2B titles like Dentist Middle East, CEO etc. no circulation, small out goings and decent enough ad revenue.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Time Out is one of the only magazines published here that actually looks like a magazine, yet the standard is still poor.
Ahlan is full of mistakes and along with e+, I've seen several factual errors (even celeb names being spelt wrong!)
I've never seen Good Living but I thoguht it was a health mag?

Anonymous said...

500 copies....that much!!! Advertisers must be dumb. Or maybe the publishers dupe the agencies who convince the client.

Millions down the drain....

Anonymous said...

I don't know if publishersdelude the agencies so much as collude with them. There are some very dodgy practices that are common place here. Many of the ad agencies are well aware that they're wasting their clients' money, but who cares when they're trusting enough to pay and you're getting commission?

Anonymous said...

You are all a bunch of twats.

This Blog is called "Dubai Media Observer"

So let's have some observation please rather than ITP/Motivate ass sucking

Thanks

Anonymous said...

There is an argument to blame the advertisers for this lamentable situation.

If they looked at audits and took time to evaluate the rags they put ads in, they may be more hesitant about forking out, thus forcing a raise in standards.

I find it shocking that I can go to the Arabian Business website and see a completely false distribution and readership figure with the tag "ABC Audit applied for May 2006"!.

O&G Middle East had a full-breakdown of its readership including job titles before it had even launched!

Still to be fair, I dont think anyone at ITP will argue this. Most accept this as a necessary evil on their way to better things. This pragmatic approach may not be a bad one.

Anonymous said...

London Time Out is now pretty poor but the Dubai one is a bit of joke. The quality of writing is shocking - even their ex-staff- so-called 'big names' like Arsalan and Brennan, both of whom went to The National, would NEVER be published in any decent English-language publication outside of the UAE. Apart from maybe the sub and the designer and one or two of the writers nobody there would get a look-in anywhere else.
The Time Out brand is just a cash-cow for ITP - a vehicle to make money. The magazine's publisher even once mooted a Time Out 'golden hearts' type award for worthy disabled children in Dubai. Be interesting to see if it still goes ahead....can imagine it would be like that sketch in Alan Partridge...
In fact Coogan, if ever did another series of Partridge, should use Dubai as a backdrop. Would be 100% perfect. He could set up his own publishing company, marry a woman old enough to be his mother and employ known criminals as 'journalists'.
Oh, it's already been done?
Sorry ITP....

Anonymous said...

Can we talk about how the Khaleej Times is going to relaunch with foreign staff in competition with The National? Also how will this affect everyone's salaries?

I hope this will result in a price war for staff!

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080726/BUSINESS/811956670/1005/rss

Anonymous said...

No, piss off, let's carry on dissing ITP.

Anonymous said...

^ lol. sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me but does the 'feared' Robert Serafin look like an utter cunt?

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_xevmqGOP1KM/R4R5uOmE2kI/AAAAAAAAAmo/8g1ysugpl3c/CM1432918@ITP+Awards+2007+(.jpg

Anonymous said...

i think he looks like a total babe magnet

Anonymous said...

Anyone seen this?

I can't believe these cretins and their crappy little publishing company take themselves so seriously...

And what the fuck does Andrew Neil do? Except show up once a year?

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://lh4.ggpht.com/_xevmqGOP1KM/R4R4t-mE2BI/AAAAAAAAAiM/a_5Kp-qcELM/CM1432936%40ITP%2BAwards%2B2007%2B(.jpg&imgrefurl=http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fv6I9LqStPmJJeabMbdUJA&h=1067&w=1600&sz=12&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=4Lg7DXmMjwcsLM:&tbnh=100&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Drobert%2Bserafin%2Bitp%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

Anonymous said...

here is the whole series of photos.

this is my favourite pic of the series - the empty tables are probably the sales team, who were otherwise engaged.

Anonymous said...

Judging by his A380 blog, Anil's writing would fit in well for the teenage magazine. "wow, it's so cool! so big! wow so awesome! first class! Tim Clark is a 2 in 1 shampoo man! the seat has fancy stuff!"

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/526076-anil-prepares-for-a380-take-off?ln=en

Anonymous said...

have you seen how shifty anil looks in those ITP pics.... I mean don't ITP have any shame at all?

Anonymous said...

It might be an idea if Anil could spell the names of the people he is interviewing, especially on a big feature like this. It's Clark, not Clarke. Both spellings are used throughout the posts. Maybe he'll get it right in Sunday's magazine.

Anonymous said...

I see that fat maid-shagging twat that sells for the men's lifetyle division is still there. What an utter cunt.

Anonymous said...

Who? Michelle? Hahahaha. Sorry.

Gada said...

wasn't there a teen mag before? called "U" ?

Anonymous said...

It's out and it's awful. Surprising.