With the Guardian, lets face it, you're often preaching to the converted. It felt like it was time to try and broaden our horizons, and take the the drug law reform debate to a wider audience. And where better to start than Britain's number one selling women's weekly: Take a Break.
For non Take a Break regulars, here's some info from their website to put you in the picture:
Captivating real life stories, prize puzzles and competitions and classic weekly elements, combine to give readers an interactive and involving big value package.
Take a Break has comfortably been the biggest selling women's weekly in the UK for over 14 years. One in eight women in the UK read Take a Break every week and it sells 2 copies every second, making it the 4th largest women's weekly in the world. Take a Break also publishes a number of brand extensions totalling over 22 million copies per year
Take a Break's mix of real life, fashion, beauty, food, home, travel and competitions attracts a hugely varied readership. Readers can be anything from 18 to 80; they are likely to own their own home and to be married, and many have children. Its universal appeal is confirmed by the strength of its reader relationship. It is read exceptionally thoroughly, has very strong reader loyalty and is read for longer than any of its competitors.
Circulation 1,018,423 Adult Readership 3,138,000 Female Readership 2,734,000 Median Age 44 Target Market C1C2 women aged 25-55 with children Frequency Weekly Launch date March 1990 Price 78p On sale every Thursday
Take a Break, and other similar women's weekly titles (of which there are several), are more used to running 'my drugs hell' type stories, so it was quite a bold move on their part, unprecedented in fact, to run a straight policy feature on the critics of prohibition and advocates of moves towards legalisation/regulation. Read the full article here (pdf). A pretty good scoop for us as far as it goes; that's 3 million readers remember.
We worked hard with them on this, and they've done a great job in including key points we were keen to highlight:
- that prohibition creates crime, harming and endangering young people rather than protecting them
- that prohibition merely exacerbates the social problems of deprived and socially marginalised communities and is an active obstacle to addressing such problems in the longer term
- that the 'war on drugs' has dramatically failed as a policy but has effectively handed control of dangerous drug markets to gangsters
- that a pragmatic pro law-reform position is compatible with being 'anti-drugs',
- and that 'legalisation' (not a useful term in many contexts) is described in terms of a range of regulatory options for different drugs (rather than an unregulated free for all)
But before we get too excited that it heralds a long term shift in editorial position its worth noting that below the article is a red box reading:
'MY MUMS ON DRUGS' have you a parent - or other relative- who does drugs? Do you have a picture of them doing it? Send us your story and photos. Fee paid.