Spellun and his partner Val Landi have identified a growing market of environmentally conscious consumers and corporations that has far exceeded the fringe. The two are partnering to launch Plenty magazine this November to go after what they predict will be a passionate and trend-setting readership.
"We think it's huge," said Editor/Publisher Spellun of the green cultural trend. "People are trying to think hard about how they live their lives in the world," he said.
Particularly so in the upcoming Presidential election." We think this is the third issue in everyone's mind behind Iraq and the economy," said Chief Operating Officer Landi. While acknowledging that environmental issues are more prominently discussed along the coasts and in college towns, "overall the environmental concern is around the same nationally," he said.
Plenty, which carries the tagline "If we make the right choices, we can have a world of Plenty," will include a mixture of investigative and lifestyle content, appealing to environmental science geeks as well as those who just want to know how best to recycle.
The debut issue, on newsstands November 16, will include a feature on the world impact of depleting oil reserves, tips on leading a greener life, advice on how to select an environmentally friendly power provider, and a products section promoting green gear.
Plenty is not necessarily going to be politically driven, said Landi. "We are not going to be a left-wing political book," he said. "That is not what we are about at all."
Instead, Plenty will try to tap a cultural mindset, targeting affluent and highly educated readers. Landi likens the magazine to Wired's launch in the 1990's, which made celebrities out of tech leaders. Plenty will do the same for green enthusiasts.
Perhaps surprisingly, Plenty will focus a great deal on the business world, often considered the enemy of environmentalists.
"Every company is trying very hard to position themselves as environmentally sensitive," said Spellun. "These companies are not stupid," added Landi.
These companies will be major advertisers in Plenty, both men hope. Landi believes that Detroit--land of 1,000 SUVs--will be a "Mecca" of advertising, citing the dedication most auto manufacturers are making to hybrid cars and more fuel-efficient vehicles. Ford has recently launched a dedicated environmental division, and Spellun predicts that during the next decade, the "Big 3" will produce more hybrids than gas-dependent cars.
Plenty will launch with an impressive array of advertisers for an independent startup, including Benjamin Moore, British Airways, L.L. Bean, Sierra Club, Stonyfield Farms, the State of Maine, and White Wave.
The magazine will publish six times in 2005 at a rate base of 100,000, with distribution centered in upscale bookstores, airports, and college campuses.
Spellun says that the enthusiasm for Plenty has made this launch go more smoothly than expected.
"People have responded so well," he said. "I had the idea for this magazine in January, and we will be on the newsstand in November."