Sunday, March 4, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, March 4, 2001

Seventeen magazine adds product lines

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer

Bad hair day?

Boys on the mind?

Got zits?

Seventeen magazine knows all about your issues.

So in an attempt to further its grip on teen girls everywhere, the magazine has branched out by launching a line of beauty accessories, school supplies, even books.

Trendy glitter bobby pins, glam-o-rama body art and fun-shaped cosmetic applicators are all designed to lure the lucrative teen market with its trademark name. More than 50 hair accessory styles, from mini clippies to pontailers, in right-now colors are hitting shelves in drug stores nationwide, including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Longs Drug Stores.

Seventeen even has its own signature hosiery with such intriguing names as "shimmers," "logo gripper pom footies" and "elastic welt capris."

After talking to countless teens across the nation, the largest monthly beauty and fashion mag for teens - we’re talking a circulation of 2.4 million - came up with its game plan: trendy but cheap.

"Teens look to us for what’s fashionable and what’s hot," said Barbara Deering, president of Primedia Enterprises Inc., publisher of Seventeen magazine. "We have a very loyal following. And they want products."

But cheap products. By targeting mass merchandisers and drug stores, Seventeen is able to sell most of its licensed products for under $10.

Deering said Seventeen is looking at extending its brand with a line of sunglasses and watches. All fashionable, of course.

But it was Seventeen’s line of nonfiction books that caught our attention.

One book, by senior editor Melanie Mannarino and titled "The Boyfriend Clinic: The Final Word on Flirting, Dating, Guys, and Love" (Parachute Publishing, $6.95), had us floored.

Some of the information packed into the purse-sized paperback is pretty useful: Its "Breakup Dos and Don’ts" had some real-life advice.

But much of the book is packed with way-too-specific scenarios that made us laugh more than learn. One of the "Seventeen Signs He Likes You," for example, is when he play-tackles you during a fire drill.

Our advice: Stick to the charm bracelets, but ditch Prince (Not-so) Charming.

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