Ads for men's magazine in Australia restricted to the men's room

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SYDNEY -- Max, a monthly magazine aimed at affluent 18-to-34-year-old males, launched nationwide in Australia on June 18 with a $150,000 initial promotion through newspapers and street press. There's also a series of risque ads that will only be seen in the male cloakrooms of hotels and clubs. The ads were created by Williams Mackay Advertising for publisher Next Media.

Proclaiming on its masthead to be "for the man who wants to stay on top", Max at first glance resembles Britain's successful men's magazine Loaded, which celebrates a "laddish" lifestyle of hard drinking and usually sports a cover photo of woman wearing little more than a pout. Max's publisher say it is pitched at "affluent but down-to-earth Aussie blokes" rather than lager lads.

Max, with a 60,000 print run and a cover price $4.50, is the first of three monthly male magazine titles to launch between now and mid-September. It will be followed on July 16 by a yet-unnamed magazine from Kerry Packer's Australian Consolidated Press aimed at the same market with the working title Secret Men's Business.

In September, Matt Handbury's Murdoch Magazines will launch an Australian edition of Men's Health targeted at more mature men conscious of health issues. "We'll be the only men's magazine here with a male on the cover," says editor Matt Johnson.

Men's magazines have been conspicuously unsuccessful in Australia but all three publishers believe the failures were caused by the wrong ingredients rather than disinterest, and they aim to change all that.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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