In its latest edition, Swedish publication Vecko-Revyn has a competition where three lucky winners will get an injection of Restylane, a gel that is used in lip sculpting. This highly controversial competition did not sit well with readers, in part due to the magazine’s leading standing with young girls. And after being critized in some of the largest dailies, Vecko-Revyn’s chief editor Charlotta Gustafsson today wrote an article in Expressen where she said the competition was a mistake, but that they will still go through with it. She claims that the majority of their readers are over 20 and mature enough to make their own choices about different beauty treatments.
“Detta eftersom vi riktar oss till kvinnor mellan 20 och 25 år.
Enligt Orvesto (en Sifoundersökning som mäter samtliga tidningar i Sverige), så är 67 % av VR:s läsare över 20 år. Snittåldern på våra läsare är 28,4 år.”
But a journalist at Östgöta Correspondenten had this argument with Gustafsson in December 2004 and bothered to investigate her claims. According to Linn Rittmalm-Glimne, the Orvesto survey only asks respondents aged between 15 and 79 (see yourself here). This means that no girls (or boys) under the age of 15 are asked if they read Vecko-Revyn. If 33% of all readers are between 15 and 19, and 67% between 20 and 79, there’s a pretty good chance that a significant number of very young readers are missing from the survey. How convenient. Especially since Sifo had told Rittmalm-Glimne that the response rate in the age group 15-19 is very low, or 52%, so the results may not be very reliable.
Here is a graph of Vecko-Revyn’s reach in different age groups (thousands of readers).
The TV news show Rapport had asked a number of retailers what age group buys Vecko-Revyn, and the response was “12 to 18”. This might not have any statistical relevance but adds to the suspicion that their readers are younger than they claim.
Dagens Nyheter wrote an article in 2000 (Eva Härnbäck, 2000-01-09, registration required) about this subject and citing a few different surveys (Mediebarometern, Nordicom-Sverige 1998 och 1999. Barnmediaindex 1997, Egmont) DN writes:
“35 procent av alla unga svenska kvinnor i åldrarna 15-24 läser Veckorevyn. Målgruppen, säger Veckorevyns redaktion, är 18-25-åriga tjejer. Men betydligt yngre flickor, 13-15 år, läser i ännu högre grad Vecko-Revyn: uppemot 40 procent.”
Translated this means that Vecko-Revyn at that time reached 40% of all girls between 13 and 15 years of age, an age group only partly surveyed by Sifo.
Worth noting is that this is the same magazine that only a few years ago stopped promoting the Swedish leg of the Miss World pageant – Fröken Sverige. Then chief editor Emma Hamberg said that competing in looks sucks: “Att tävla i hur man ser ut och vinna en resa om man är tillräckligt snygg anser Hamberg vara för ”jävligt”. Veckorevyn handlar också om skönhet men är inte en tävling i vem som är snyggast.” (see pdf page 27).