Lad foot

Lad foot: Matt Nauman of the Mercury News profiles the new American Media automobile magazine, Maximum Performance Horsepower (MPH) Magazine (not to be confused with the old American Media automobile magazine, Auto World Weekly that was published from 2000 to 2003 before getting mercy-killed). [Oh, and I almost forgot: Here is a contextual commerce link to subscribe to MPH.] Here’s how Matt starts out:

Think of MPH, a new car magazine from the publisher of the National Enquirer, as part Maxim and part Car and Driver.

No thanks, Matt. I’d rather not.

In his story, Matt quotes MPH editor-in-chief Eddie Alterman’s take on the current titles in the category:

They’re just not fun,” Alterman said. `”There’s nothing that’s entertaining about them. The captions aren’t funny. It’s picture-word-picture-word.” And that’s just wrong because “the car is the most fun product in people’s lives.”

So, here’s what MPH is going to do in their efforts to blow those other century-old auto-magazines off the newsstand:

…”It’s more visually driven. The stories are easier to read. The stories are shorter,” Alterman said. And, it’s full of pictures of pretty young women and risque, sophomoric humor.

Alterman points to the recent success of the “lad magazines,” such as Maxim, Stuff and FHM, and talks about “a real magazine revolution,” fueled by those titles and others like Arena, Spin and Blender. (Obviously, Alterman missed news of the post-revolution bubble-busting at lad magazines like Maxim.)

As I’m “too gray” to be in the target audience (also, my interest in cars relates to transportation rather than fun and self-definition), I obviously am not equipped to judge the prospects of this magazine. However, as one who spent a little time in ones less gray days hanging out in the garage of a filling station or two, the belief that there is something new about pictures of “pretty young women” in auto magazines is a rather quaint and historically naive notion.