Journal readers to get luxury lifestyle read
Chinese-language business newspaper the Hong Kong Economic Journal will launch a monthly magazine this week to tap into the luxury-brand market and serve the paper's supposedly 'elegant and low-profile' readership.
The Journal, controlled by a fund in which Richard Li Tzar-kai is the settlor, is in catch-up mode in launching new products as it competes with the Hong Kong Economic Times on both the advertising and editorial fronts.
The new monthly, the Life Style Journal, will hit the street this Friday and come free with the Economic Journal. The initial print run will be about 60,000 copies.
Peter Wong Yuen-shun, a veteran magazine journalist and the founding editor of the Life Style Journal, told Media Eye the magazine could be the first publication tailor-made for the Journal's readers, which he labelled 'elegant and low-profile'.
'The Economic Journal has long been too focused on business and financial news, while the Hong Kong Economic Times is much more diversified in editorial content,' Mr Wong said in an interview last week.
The Life Style Journal will be published on the last Friday of each month and compete with the South China Morning Post's Post Magazine and The Financial Times' How to Spend It supplement.
Mr Wong said that while the editorial team of the new publication included only three full-time staff, the title would not be purely advertising. 'We won't dedicate too many pages to advertising,' he said.
Pandora Ip, the Journal's business development director, said the magazine would be a vehicle for the newspaper to expand its advertisers' profile and income.
The Life Style Journal will have 64 pages, of which one-third will be advertisements and the remainder editorial content.
The move will help the Economic Journal diversify its advertising income after the stock exchange implemented rules last year that meant listed companies no longer need to publish their corporate announcements in Chinese- and English-language newspapers.
Hong Kong Economic Times Group has invested about HK$30 million in its U Magazine and Take Me Home free newspaper to expand its advertising base. It hit breakeven within three years, BNP Paribas said.
Fashion reflecting art
Before joining the Economic Journal, Mr Wong was the editor of City Magazine, a Hong Kong-based lifestyle and cultural monthly. He quit City Magazine late last year to prepare for the launch of the new monthly.
Mr Wong said the Life Style Journal would focus more on the cross-over between arts and various fashion brands.
Luxury brands such as Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton increased their advertising budgets 23 per cent in Hong Kong last year, thanks to the strong consumption power of cashed-up mainland visitors.
According to Nielsen Media, luxury brands spent HK$474 million on advertising in Hong Kong media last year. The top 10 luxury brands spent HK$309 million, which accounted for two-thirds of the sector's spending.
The biggest spender was Christian Dior, which splurged HK$67.7 million. Chanel and Louis Vuitton ranked second and third with budgets of HK$59.4 million and HK$43.9 million, respectively. No comparable figures were available for previous years.
Other luxury brands on the list included Gucci, Fendi, Burberry, Versace, Prada and Chloe.