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Cosmopolitan to launch free spin-off mag for students

Women's title also set to launch dedicated website.

Glossy magazine Cosmopolitan is to launch a free spin-off title later this year aimed at female university students.

The National Magazine Company, publisher of the monthly paid-for title, is planning to print 250,000 copies of Cosmo on Campus for distribution at 65 universities across the UK when the new term starts in October.

The publisher claims the launch is part of a long-term strategy which will see it produce a new issue of the spin-off each quarter in 2011.

Initially these magazines will be distributed through its "Brand Ambassador" universities, which include London Met, Leeds and Leeds Met, Manchester and Manchester Met and Edinburgh.

Natmag said the new title, which is aimed at 18-21 year-olds, will be a 56-page magazine printed on 'improved newsprint'.

In addition, the magazine will be complemented by publication of a digital version by, a new channel to be added to the existing website.

Louise Court, editor of Cosmopolitan, said: "We wanted to produce a free tailored version of Cosmopolitan that talks directly to the student population and gives them all the honest and intimate advice they can get from the monthly magazine, but tailored specifically to their lifestyle as an introduction to the paid-for glossy."

Cosmopolitan, which is the second biggest women's lifestyle glossy behind Glamour, underwent a redesign last month overseen by new creative director Stuart Selner.

According to the latest figures available from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Cosmopolitan sold an average of 430,353 copies each month in the second half of last year, down 4.5 per cent year on year. It sells for £3.40 an issue.

New circulation data for the first six months of 2010 will be made public by the ABC next week.


Oliver Luft writes for

Photo: Getty Images
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David Cameron’s starter homes: poor policy, but good politics

David Cameron's electoral coalition of buy-to-let retirees and dual-earner couples remains intact: for now.

The only working age demographic to do better under the Coalition was dual-earner couples – without children. They were the main beneficiaries of the threshold raise – which may “take the poorest out of tax” in theory but in practice hands a sizeable tax cut to peope earning above average. They will reap the fruits of the government’s Help to Buy ISAs. And, not having children, they were insulated from cuts to child tax credits, reductions in public services, and the rising cost of childcare. (Childcare costs now mean a couple on average income, working full-time, find that the extra earnings from both remaining in work are wiped out by the costs of care)

And they were a vital part of the Conservatives’ electoral coalition. Voters who lived in new housing estates on the edges of seats like Amber Valley and throughout the Midlands overwhelmingly backed the Conservatives.

That’s the political backdrop to David Cameron’s announcement later today to change planning to unlock new housing units – what the government dubs “Starter Homes”. The government will redefine “affordable housing”  to up to £250,000 outside of London and £450,000 and under within it, while reducing the ability of councils to insist on certain types of buildings. He’ll describe it as part of the drive to make the next ten years “the turnaround decade”: years in which people will feel more in control of their lives, more affluent, and more successful.

The end result: a proliferation of one and two bedroom flats and homes, available to the highly-paid: and to that vital component of Cameron’s coalition: the dual-earner, childless couple, particularly in the Midlands, where the housing market is not yet in a state of crisis. (And it's not bad for that other pillar of the Conservative majority: well-heeled pensioners using buy-to-let as a pension plan.)

The policy may well be junk-rated but the politics has a triple A rating: along with affluent retirees, if the Conservatives can keep those dual-earner couples in the Tory column, they will remain in office for the forseeable future.

Just one problem, really: what happens if they decide they want room for kids? Cameron’s “turnaround decade” might end up in entirely the wrong sort of turnaround for Conservative prospects.

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.