Category Archives: Asia

Editor of Indonesia’s defunct version of Playboy magazine insists he was never in the porn business

The editor of Indonesia’s defunct version of Playboy magazine, Erwin Arnada, insists he was never in the pornography business.  But now, he is forced to hide because of a two-year jail sentence hanging over his head and vigilantes vowing to track him down wherever he is.

The local edition of the U.S. men’s magazine, which began publication in 2006, was relatively tame, and conspicuously free of nudity. But faced with violent protests by hard-line Muslim groups, it soon folded, while Mr. Arnada fended off a succession of criminal charges.  The second issue of Playboy Indonesia, still baring zero nudity or lingerie, had come out after the publisher had moved its offices to the island of Bali, two months after Islamic hardliners had attempted to trash its Jakarta offices following the magazine’s first edition.

Things had gone quiet until this August, with the surprise announcement that the Indonesian Supreme Court, in an unpublicized verdict last year, had found him guilty of indecency. The New York Times reported on the subject early this month in an article named “From Hiding, Indonesian Defends Free Expression“.

Playboy Indonesia was published by Velvet Silver Media and had a print run of about 100 000 copies, according to Wikipedia.  It was the first issue of Playboy to launch in a Muslim country since the Turkish edition folded in the mid-90’s (NB: Turkey is a secular country although Islam is the dominant religion there).

Home & Decor Magazine has launched in Indonesia

Singapore-based SPH Magazines has signed a licensing agreement with Kingpin Media to publish monthly title Home & Decor in Indonesia, the first license for the upscale home publication.

Home & Decor, first launched in Singapore in 1987, is Singapore’s No. 1 interior magazine and was awarded the Best in Design (Bronze) in the Asia Media Awards in 2005.  Home & Decor Indonesia will feature the same quality editorial content and excellent design that the Singapore edition is known for. Readers can find out the latest decor trends, furnishings, accessories, design industry tips as well as some of the most innovative home designs in the magazine.

Mr Foong Seong Khong, Head of SPH Magazines’ International Licensing Unit, said: “The licensing of Home & Decor in Indonesia reaffirms its strength as a brand with huge regional potential. We are confident that SPH Magazines, together with Kingpin Media, will develop and grow the title in Indonesia’s fast-growing market, and quickly duplicate the success that Home & Decor has enjoyed locally.”

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Condé Nast graduates from the Gehry-designed cafeteria to the restaurant business

As reported by the WSJ, US magazine publisher Condé Nast is taking some of its best-known magazine names like Vogue and GQ and parlaying them into the restaurant business in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.  The effort reflects a growing openness among magazine publishers to try to capitalize on their brands beyond print, which continues to struggle in a tough advertising environment.

The restaurant venture only involves Condé Nast’s international unit, so there are no plans for a Vanity Fair Café or a New Yorker Bar & Grill in the U.S. That being said, the American magazines have been freed to reach their own deals, such as lines of jewelry or furnishings or e-commerce partnerships to name a few that Glamour US dabbled in recently.

“I think there’s been a new openness in the entire organization to experimenting, trying new things, and I would say thinking about the business model in new ways,” said Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman of Condé Nast International.

The company is establishing a new division, called Condé Nast Restaurants, Continue reading

Esquire to launch Malaysia edition in April 2011

The announcement on Wednesday by Hearst Magazines International (HMI) President/CEO (since 2009) Duncan Edwards of the April 2011 launch of Esquire/Malaysia marks Esquire‘s 22nd overseas edition!  There was only a handful in 1989 when Edwards’ predecessor George Green took the job.

Hearst’s partner in Esquire Malaysia is Mongoose Publishing, which also publishes Time Out, Newsweek and Nat Geo among others in Malaysia. The editor will be Sam Coleman and the language is English (widely spoken in Malaysia).  Esquire Malaysia will have an initial print run of 30 000 copies, a minimum of 164 pages and a cover price of RM12.

Esquire’s sophisticated and stylish approach to covering the subjects and stories that young men care most about translates incredibly well around the world” Edwards said. “We’re confident that its mix of strong storytelling, award-winning reporting, humor and panache will make it a big success in Malaysia, as it has in other countries.”

International editions usually run their own editorial and marketing shows, but in 2008 Esquire Russia adapted the “ultimate bachelor pad” that has been a staple for the U.S. flagship since its 70th anniversary in 2003.  This fall, the “Esquire House” will be in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Los Angeles.

With this launch, Esquire will be available in 7 Asian countries and 22 in total worldwide.

“The Big Issue”, a magazine sold by homeless, launches in South Korea

Big Issue Korea (BIK), the South Korean version of the London-based weekly magazine The Big Issue, has launched.  The Big Issue started in London to offer homeless and vulnerably housed people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income. The staff produces a weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine, which vendors buy from us for 85 pence and sell to the public for £1.70, keeping 85 pence for themselves. Vendors must adhere to a code of conduct whilst selling the magazine.  The publisher believe in offering “a hand up, not a hand out”, but also recognize that earning an income is the first step on the journey away from homelessness. The Big Issue Foundation is a registered charity, which exists to link vendors with the vital support that will help them address the issues that have led to their homelessness. The Foundation works exclusively with vendors, offering support, advice and referrals. 

Fifteen people have begun sales in Seoul, and the magazine looks to increase their number to 50 this year, company officials said. Sellers are issued temporary ID cards and an initial set of ten free copies.

Half a month of vending permits them to purchase copies of the magazine for 1,400 KRW (£0.92) each and sell them for 3,000 KRW (£1.98) thereafter. The initiative will also be supported by the Seoul metropolitan government.

Martha Stewart Living expands internationally

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is to launch Everyday Food in Dubai in July 2010. The monthly title will have a circulation of 35000 and will be distributed in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Syria and Jordan.  The US edition of Everyday Food currently reaches 4,5 million readers a month.  Additionally, Martha Stewart Weddings is also set to launch in Dubai by October 2010, under license from local entertainment firm Takhayal.  The quarterly bridal magazine will have a circulation of 40 000 and will be distributed in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Syria and Jordan.  The US edition of Martha Stewart Weddings, which debuted in 1994, currently circulates about 230 000 copies every quarter.

Also, Martha Stewart Living magazine will launch in Indonesia under a licensing agreement with Kompas Gramedia, the largest media conglomerate there. The monthly home title will launch in August 2010 with a circulation of 20000.

Lastly, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Pizzazz Media to produce and distribute Martha Stewart Living in the UK. The new edition, which will be distributed throughout the UK, New Zealand and Australia, is expected to be published on a monthly basis following the September 2010 launch.  The magazine’s circulation is 50 000 and the cover price is £3,75 (€4,52).

Maxposure Media Group takes over license for FHM India

Maxposure Media Group has acquired the license for FHM India from Next Gen PublishingMaxposure Media Group’s co-founder and publisher Vikas Johari said: “FHM India is a prestigious brand and marks Maxposure Media Group’s entrance into the men’s lifestyle publishing segment. I want to take this opportunity to appreciate Next Gen Publishing initiatives to forward FHM’s market presence, especially the popular ‘FHM Magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World’ poll and its mobile download service. India has 600 million registered users in the country, and hence a huge opportunity for FHM mobile in future.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Simon Greves, international director, FHM, said: “Since its India launch in 2007, FHM has established itself as a leading men’s lifestyle magazine brand. I am very happy that Maxposure Media Group will be taking the title forward.”

FHM India has a print run of 110 000 and a cover price of 100 Rs.

Click here to download FHM India’s rate card.