When Stuart Lowe asked Why? five times

by Herman Manson (@marklives)Stuart Lowe, the former MD of media house Ramsay Media, sits in his newly furbished home office and proudly shows off the first report of his new research venture, WhyFive.

The SA Body Image Report 2013 focuses on body image perceptions of a wide cross section of reasonably affluent, economically active South Africans, and offers insights into the market for fashion, health and beauty products.

The Body Image report showed that nearly 80% of us would like to look better. “If you’ve ever wondered why the health and beauty industry is so enormous,” the report quips, “now you know.”

People’s reasons for exercising was quite interesting – 51% of respondents exercised to keep toned and fit (so it’s a ‘maintenance job’ rather than a ‘repair job’), and 50% said it relieved stress and improved their mood. Improving fitness was ticked by 46% of respondents, while only 42% said it was to keep their weight in check and only 28% said they exercised to lose weight (the report speculates that perhaps ‘people are increasingly realising that losing weight is a pleasant by-product of a healthy lifestyle’ and not just exercise). Close to ten percent picked ‘to socialise.’

Lowe left Ramsay Media in late 2012. There were a number of reasons for him leaving, including that he wanted to build something that he could have a stake in, his sense of a disconnection between the shareholders at Ramsay (who is gearing up to sell their stake in the business, something they had denied they were planning to do during his tenure, according to Lowe) and members of the management team, disquiet about the fate of analogue dependent media business in the digital age as well as his daughter Jenna’s fight against Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (read her blog raising awareness on the illness).

New business focus, units build a braver RamsayMedia

RamsayMedia has been undergoing a strategic transformation over the last three years under the management team lead by MD Stuart Lowe.

Wine mag bets service content will pay when journalism didn’t

Wine magazine, the wine-focused consumer monthly published by RamsayMedia, will be publishing its last edition in September 2011, after nearly 20 years in print. The magazine has only turned an annual profit three times in its existence.

RamsayMedia MD Stuart Lowe says the group had been considering for many years now what to do about Wine magazine. For years it has been building a series of conciliary activities to extend the Wine brand, including books, wine tastings and expos. All these businesses made money, but never enough to offset the losses on the magazine side, says Lowe.

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