Virgin is to extend its brand into consumer magazines with the launch of a title to be led by 28-year-old Holly Branson, daughter of the company’s founder. The first issue of Maverick, to be published in October, will be overseen by ex-FHM editor Anthony Noguera. The monthly magazine, which will make its debut on Apple’s iPad, is targeting an international ABC1 audience (upper/middle class).
The title will funded by subscriptions and paid-for ads, and has been positioned as “the magazine about creative people for creative people”. The editorial will focus on technology, film and design. Insiders say Maverick is likely to spearhead a push into consumer magazines by the Virgin brand. Print titles and further digital offerings may follow.
It is understood that the project has substantial backing and will be supported by a heavyweight marketing campaign.
Insiders claim that Branson wants to compete with the major publishing houses, such as Bauer and IPC Media.
The launch marks a shift in strategy for Virgin, which has previously outsourced its customer magazines for its various business units such as the in-flight magazine Seatback, and Hotline, distributed on Virgin‘s trains.
Its highest-profile title, Electric!, produced to promote Virgin Media, is handled by Redwood. However, Virgin is working with Seven Squared agency and Noguera’s publishing consultancy AI on Maverick.