Bauer’s Carvosso in fiery debut

Bad taste joke of the month – or possibly just a very old one – from Abby Carvosso, new head of magazine sales at Bauer Media, in a Media Week interview with Harriet Dennys:

‘High praise is also reserved for Heat, which Carvosso describes as “on fire”, before cackling with laughter at her own, unintended, pun.’

In the run-up to Emap’s launch of  the magazine 11 years ago last week, television advertising showed people reading the magazine and bursting into flames. This led to 150 complaints to the Independent Television Commission from viewers who said it was ‘distressing’ and totally inappropriate’. The Fire Brigades Union said at the time: ‘It is wholly inappropriate and totally insensitive to use these images in this way. People who have lost a family member in a fire could be grief-stricken by these advertisements.’

Emap tried to defend itself in Scotland’s Herald, saying: ‘We have taken a surreal approach to the creative idea of reading the “hottest” new weekly entertainment magazine which covers the burning issues of the week.’ Also, it told The Independent: “The scenes involve a lot of water or situations which make it obvious that it isn’t real. It is not our intention to offend and we don’t feel we have.”

This seemed a strange defence – if any of its magazines had 150 letters on a single topic it would certainly have taken notice.

Publishing companies tend to have relatively high staff turnovers and so have short memories, but the value of a trawl through the archives should never be overlooked (or perhaps Carvosso did look at the cuttings and decided to dust off the joke).

Heat first issue cover – and cover for test issue, Pulp.

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