Stuff Singapore first Asian edition to remove half-naked women from front covers

Singapore Stuff

Stuff Singapore’s September issue

The September edition of Stuff Singapore is the first Asian iteration of the magazine to take scantily clad women off the front cover.

The gadgets mag, which is published by Haymarket, decided to remove half-naked women from its covers in the UK last month after research showed that the girls-with-gadgets formula had stopped working as the appeal of ‘lads mags’ has waned. Also, 40 per cent of its readers are female.

Locally in Singapore, the shift to use content within the magazine on the front comes a few months after Stuff launched a competition to find a girl to feature on its August cover. The five-month campaign was sponsored by the likes of Nokia, Canon, Lenovo, Pioneer and Funan Digital Life.

“This is a big step for Stuff magazine in Asia, but we can no longer be known as the ‘lads mag’ with women on the front”, Ian Paynton, publishing manager for Haymarket Consumer Media Asia told Mumbrella. “Because Stuff isn’t that any more. It’s accessible and entertaining info about lifestyle gadgets for male and female tech tribes.”

Stuff Singapore's August issue

Stuff Singapore’s August issue

“The new “Rise of the Red Army” cover doesn’t mean we’ll never put people on the front again. But the covers will be more relevant to the content inside. The hope is that our improved editorial direction will help us win more readers and avoid the drop in magazine sales that some might expect from removing the models on any newsstand magazine,” he said.

Haymarket is soon to launch a study of its readers that includes testing a range of cover treatments to gauge what works best in Singapore.

Stuff is published in India, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and as of June, Cambodia, but all local editions have been left to make their own decisions on whether women should feature on their covers.

Paul Weinert, sales and marketing manager for Southeastern Globe Communications, which publishes Stuff in Cambodia, told Mumbrella: “We fully support Haymarket Consumer Media’s change in direction. We feel that publishing content-related covers will enable us to approach a wider readership: tech-savvy and trendy Cambodians – males and females alike.”

Stuff has used the girls-with-gadgets formula since the magazine first hit shelves in the UK in 1996.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing