Thursday, April 10, 2003

Read But Dead IX
According to Media Life, Bob Guccione, Jr., has pulled the plug on Maxim wannabe lad mag Gear, causing media spotters to speculate that the great lad mag explosion of the 2K's is about to implode. Fellow copycats Ramp and Razor hustle to differentiate -- and distance -- themselves from the grand old lad mags Maxim, FHM, and Stuff. In the end, they come off as silly apologists.

"I think that the laddie category is oversaturated," says Richard Amann, president and publisher of Ramp Media, which publishes Ramp. "You've got the big three and a bunch of 'me too' laddie products."

Dude, you publish one of those me too's. You've helped oversaturate the category.

"When Razor came out, it was hard because all these other Maxim clones came out at the same time," says Craig Vasiloff, editor in chief of Razor. "To compete on newsstands with all those publications, we almost had to do those covers."

Dude, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. Fess up to editing a Maxim clone.

Now these magazines are repositioning themselves somewhere in between the lad mags and the Esquire/GQ set. Which makes me wonder where Details and Men's Journal fit into this categorization. Good luck to all involved. If POV couldn't make a go of it -- and if Griff Wigley can't find funding for his Real Joe magazine, what the heck are the Razors and the Ramps of the world going to do?

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