Back in 2009, ACP, now Bauer, took the opportunity to rub Fairfax’s nose in the sand when NZ Life & Leisure featured an image on its cover that Kia Ora had used on one of its earlier editions. And late last year, Woman’s Day and New Idea both featured the same image of Pippa Middleton (although very different words were used alongside). And Mindfood has pointed out that Next magazine can add its name to that list after it used a cover image of Angelina Jolie for a recent issue that had been used back in 2011.
Generally, it’s a no-no in the publishing world to use a cover image that’s already been used by a competitor. But there are plenty on non-exclusive images on the market and exclusivity clauses run out after a certain amount of time so other publishers are free to use those images (and, as in this case, give them a different visual treatment) if they pay up. In an age where images of celebrities are ubiquitous and when Jolie has been on the cover of almost every magazine ever created, including numerous appearances on Vanity Fair, it’s doubtful punters will notice and/or care that it has run elsewhere. In fact, judging by the frequency of her cover appearances, she obviously helps drive sales. But even so, it’s a bit of a step-down from Next’s previous magazine covers, a couple of which made it onto coverjunkie.com.
Next’s average net paid circulation in the last quarter of 2014 was 31,495, down from a peak of 67,564 in 2005. Mindfood, however, has been up an upward trajectory since its first appearance in the ABC figures in 2008 and clocked in with average net paid circulation of 30,418 in the last quarter (it has decreased slightly over the past two surveys, however). It also launched a major brand extension last year called Mindfood Style.