A technology and gadgets magazine is to drop its policy of using scantily-clad women as cover models. Stuff magazine says it’s a business decision based on changing tastes.
The magazine launched in the UK in 1996 and now has several international editions. The UK version has consistently used models on the front cover, usually posing with some of the gadgets profiled in the lead articles.
Although the magazine has occasionally gone model-free for a single article, it will now do so permanently. It follows feedback from focus groups, along with a three-month trial in which a model-free cover was used for copies sold in select regions. Those copies outsold the ones with traditional covers.
Editor Will Findlater described the feedback as unanimous, saying readers “want covers that reflect the content of the magazine, and pictures of a model simply don’t. I hope that in making this change we’ll remove any barriers to reaching the whole of Stuff’s potential audience. Technology is universal, but pictures of models aren’t universally appealing.”
The revamp is also a reflection of a changing marketplace. While originally aimed at a male audience, around 40 percent of Stuff’s readers today are female.
Usually the cover model would also be featured inside the magazine in the lead article. It’s not been confirmed yet if this will continue or if the magazine will use more shots of the products themselves.