Esquire sees early ad boost

February issue sees 119% increase over last year's

NEW YORK — Esquire magazine’s future is looking a little brighter, with a 45% increase in advertising pages for first-quarter 1998 over year-ago figures.

The year 1997 was troubling for the Hearst title, with declines in advertising and newsstand sales, which led to the exit of editor-in-chief Edward Kosner. Kosner’s replacement, David Granger, has been working to turn the mag around since May.

For the January-to-March period, Esquire’s number of ad pages jumped 45% to 155 from 107 during the same period a year ago. The February issue saw a whopping 119% increase over February 1997 with a special section on men’s Italian fashion.

New advertisers for the first quarter include Absolut, Jil Sander, Johnston & Murphy, Perry Ellis, Moosehead Beer, Altoids and Volkswagen.

An Esquire spokesperson attributed the increases to “a positive response to the magazine’s editorial redirection” under Granger.

Overall, the mag saw a 3.5% increase in circulation to 674,000 in 1997 from 651,000 in 1996, but a careful look at important newsstand sales and ad page figures for 1997 showed declines.

According to Gotham-based Publisher’s Information Bureau, Esquire’s newsstand sales fell in 1997 to 87,000 from a 1996 high of 104,000. Total number of ad pages for 1997 were down 2% to 597 from 609 in 1996.

The editorial changes at Esquire last year followed a shake-up on its biz side the year before, when the mag tapped Valerie Salembier as its fifth new publisher in five years.

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