Monday, June 08, 2009

Unfolding magazines: New Face?

Having put the pillow over its Face five years ago, Bauer (EMAP as was) is apparently thinking about some half-arsed revival of the title.

Yes, nothing says "cutting-edge" like a company resurrecting a brand that you'd deemed to be irrelevant half a decade ago.

Some people are excited at what is still just a rumour:

"The Face used to be the benchmark of cool in the days before the internet," says Rana Reeves, the founder of John Doe, PlayStation's PR agency. "If you could get your client in there, they had instant credibility. These days, youth culture is all online and all immediate. The Face is still a huge brand name, even globally, so it could become an authoritative site on what's cool in the UK."

Is it really a huge brand name? Especially globally? And should we listen to someone who uses the phrase "what's cool in the UK" in the year 2009?

People who used to work for the Face are less keen:
"The problem is there is nobody at Bauer who could steer that brand correctly - certainly not Noguera," says one former Face staffer. "Does anyone there know the difference between bassline and UK funky, or realise that the Enemy and Gallows are barely the tip of the iceberg for politicised rock bands? Like fuck do they."

The web has not led to a dilution of youth subcultures. He adds: "People still want to go out and associate with their own 'tribes' at the weekend, and music and fashion still represent that. But no Bauer magazine is ever going to be able to understand the way that this works."

You would think that, if Bauer did have confidence in their ability to produce an equivalent to The Face, they wouldn't be reviving an old title.