G Spots a Gap in Feelgood Market

The Australian | 16 August 2007


By Sally Jackson

LUNA Media’s G: The Green Lifestyle Magazine, the glossy guide to achieving an environmentally sound life, is to go monthly from next year after exceeding sales expectations.

The title was launched in November as a bimonthly aiming for early sales of 18,000 to 25,000 copies. After four issues it achieved a circulation of 35,000 copies and distribution of 50,000.

Kylie Ahern, Luna Media chief executive and G Magazine publisher, said the timing of its launch had been exceptional.

To say the least.

Two months before the release of the magazine’s first issue, former US vice-president Al Gore visited Australia for the local premiere of his feature film documentary about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, which attracted large audiences and intense media coverage.

A month before the launch, Nicholas Stern released his 700-page report for the British Government on the economics of climate change, which also received extensive coverage.

One month after, George Miller’s Happy Feet, a family film with an emotive environmental message, opened in cinemas, and became the highest grossing Australian-made movie.

“Community reaction to green issues became very strong, it was on the top of people’s minds,” Ahern said. “G Magazine has touched a vibe because it’s apolitical, evidence-based, positive and pragmatic.

“Readers read the editorial and they also read the ads because they are after information.”

The magazine had signed up more than 3000 subscribers and the company planned to triple that number within a year, in part through a national television, print and direct marketing campaign in September.

Advertising support had also been strong, with the August-September issue, out next Wednesday, increasing from 64 pages to 80 pages.

G Magazine targets general readers who are environmentally conscious but don’t want to sacrifice their quality of life.

Its editorial advisory board includes Timothy Flannery, 2007 Australian of the Year; Cathy Zoi, chief executive of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection; and Patrice Newell, former TV host turned biodynamic farmer and author.

Luna Media also announced this week it had undertaken an emissions audit and was offsetting all its greenhouse gases, making it a 100 per cent carbon-neutral publishing company, most likely Australia’s first.

The company said it had purchased carbon credits under the NSW greenhouse gas abatement scheme, which provided a legal guarantee its emissions would stay sequestered for at least 100 years, beyond the Kyoto Protocol requirement of 30 years.

Ahern said Luna Media’s other magazine, popular science title Cosmos, had launched in the US, selling about 3000 copies of its first issue through the Barnes & Noble chain, and the company was now looking at Canada.

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