Useful, accessible information on circulation and audience development for magazine publishing professionals.

June 20th 2018

is the 171st day of the year and there are 194 days remaining until the end of the year.


London, England

New York, U.S.A.
Sydney, Australia

A 23-year-old man has been arrested after an explosion at Southgate tube station.

Prince Louis will be christened by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Monday 9 July, Kensington Palace has announced.

Fox News is facing a Hollywood backlash after presenter Laura Ingraham described detention centers for children on the southern US border as "essentially summer camps".

Paedophile football coach Barry Bennell has lost an appeal against his 30-year sentence for multiple child sex offences. Bennell, 64, took his case to the Court of Appeal in the hope of a shorter sentence. But three judges upheld his 30-year term, which was handed down by Liverpool Crown Court for 52 offences committed against 12 boys between 1979 and 1991.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said images of children being held in cages in U.S. migrant detention facilities were 'deeply disturbing' and that Britain did not approve of separating migrant families.

Pope Francis, in an exclusive interview with Reuters, has criticized the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world's immigration problems.

Iran's leader criticized the U.S. administration's separation of immigrant parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border in comments published on his official website Wednesday.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an understanding on issues discussed at a summit of the two leaders, including denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the North's state media said on Wednesday.

Several European leaders including those of France, Germany, Italy and Austria will hold talks on Sunday on migration, an issue bringing bitter political divisions to a head in Europe and increasingly in the United States.

Divers and an underwater drone on Wednesday joined a fleet of rescue vessels in Indonesia's search for at least 192 passengers missing two days after an overcrowded wooden ferry sank in one of the world's deepest volcanic lakes in Sumatra.

Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown with rebels in her Conservative Party on Wednesday after refusing to accept demands for parliament to have a "meaningful vote" on Brexit that could stop Britain crashing out of the European Union with no deal.

Greece will support efforts by Macedonia to meet the terms of an accord to change the country's name, Greece's government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Slovenia's president on Wednesday regretted the U.S. decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, as Western countries began looking for a substitute for the coveted seat.

A musical inspired by the life of late pop singer Michael Jackson will open on Broadway in 2020, Jackson's estate and its producing partner said on Tuesday.

Lord Sugar has been criticized for an "unhelpful and ignorant" tweet comparing Senegal's World Cup team to sellers on the "beach in Marbella".
The European Union will launch a raft of retaliatory tariffs against US exports on Friday, a top official has said. The move comes after US President Donald Trump imposed steep duties on steel and aluminum earlier this month. American exports such as blue jeans, motorbikes and bourbon whiskey will be targeted, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom confirmed.

Canada's parliament has passed a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana nationwide.

More than 450 patients died after being given powerful painkillers inappropriately at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, a report has found. An independent panel said, taking into account missing records, a further 200 patients may have suffered a similar fate.

Passengers who bought cheap British Airways flights say they are angry after their tickets were cancelled because the prices were wrong. The airline said it had sent incorrect fares to a number of travel agents for flights to Tel Aviv and Dubai.

Zookeepers had a shock when they realized a six-year-old male gorilla was actually a female. Senior curator of animals at the zoo, John Partridge, said gorillas are known for being difficult to sex. "We have a strict hands-off policy with our animals," he added. "As gorillas can be difficult to sex, Kukena had been thought to be a male.

A West Point cadet who wore a Che Guevara T-shirt to his
graduation has been drummed out of the US military. Spenser
Rapone, 26, quit on Monday with an other-than-honorable
discharge over his "unbecoming" conduct at the famed military academy in New York state.

Disney has increased its offer for 21st Century Fox to $71.3bn in cash and shares, up from an earlier $52bn offer.

1005 – Ali az-Zahir, Fatimid caliph of Egypt (d. 1036)
1634 – Charles Emmanuel II, duke of Savoy (d. 1675)
1647 – John George III, Elector of Saxony (d. 1691)
1763 – Wolfe Tone, Irish rebel leader (d. 1798)

1813 – Joseph Autran, French poet and author (d. 1877)
1819 – Jacques Offenbach, German-French
cellist and composer (d. 1880)
1866 – James Burns, English cricketer (d. 1957)
1893 – Wilhelm Zaisser, German soldier and politician (d. 1958)
1894 – Lloyd Hall, American chemist and academic (d. 1971)
1897 – Elisabeth Hauptmann, German author
and playwright (d. 1973)
1909 – Errol Flynn, Australian-American actor (d. 1959)

1910 – Josephine Johnson, American author and poet (d. 1990)
1917 – Helena Rasiowa, Austrian-Polish mathematician
and academic (d. 1994)
1925 – Doris Hart, American tennis player and educator (d. 2015)
1925 – Audie Murphy, American lieutenant and actor and
Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1971)
1928 – Martin Landau, American actor and producer (d. 2017)

1929 – Anne Weale, English journalist and author (d. 2007)
1931 – Olympia Dukakis, American actress

1933 – Danny Aiello, American actor
1938 – Mickie Most, English music producer (d. 2003)

1947 – Dolores "LaLa" Brooks, American pop singer (The Crystals)
1952 – John Goodman, American actor
1963 – Kirk Baptiste, American sprinter
1967 – Nicole Kidman, American-Australian actress
1978 – Frank Lampard, English footballer
1982 – Example, English singer/rapper

2017 – Prodigy, (Albert Johnson), American music artist (b. 1974)
1984 – Estelle Winwood, English actress (b. 1883)

1947 – Bugsy Siegel, American mobster (b. 1906)

1837 – William IV of the United Kingdom (b. 1765)

1605 – Feodor II of Russia (b. 1589)
1176 – Mikhail of Vladimir, Russian prince

1631 – The Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates.

1685 – Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declares himself King of England at Bridgwater.

1756 – A British garrison is imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

1787 – Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the 'United States'.

1819 – The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrives at Liverpool, United Kingdom. It is the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey is made under sail.

1837 – Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne.

1840 – Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph.

1863 – American Civil War: West Virginia is admitted as the
35th U.S. state.

1877 – Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

1893 – Lizzie Borden is acquitted of the murders of her
father and stepmother.

1943 – The Detroit race riot breaks out and continues
for three more days.

1945 – The United States Secretary of State approves the transfer of Wernher von Braun and his team of Nazi rocket scientists to the U.S. under Operation Paperclip.

1948 – The Deutsche Mark is introduced in Western Allied-occupied Germany. The Communists respond by imposing the Berlin Blockade four days later.

1959 – A rare June hurricane strikes Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35.

1972 – Watergate scandal: An 18½-minute gap appears in the tape recording of the conversations between U.S. President Richard Nixon and his advisers regarding the recent arrests of his operatives while breaking into the Watergate complex.

1979 – ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart is shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder is caught on tape and sparks an international outcry against the regime.

1990 – Asteroid Eureka is discovered.

What is direct mail credibility?
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here. publishes cartoons from time to time; to check out some of the best, click here.

Day 170 of 365: World Refugee Day (International); Martyrs' Day (Eritrea); Gas Sector Day (Azerbaijan);
Day of the National Flag (Argentina); West Virginia Day (West Virginia).
Greg Osberg is the person concerned although it is probably no great surprise as says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post he has 'been interim C.E.O. following the January ouster of Tom Beusse, C.O.O. Joe Siebert and C.T.O Joe Romello by the controlling venture fund.'

In the past Mr. Osberg has been president of Newsweek and says Mr. Kelly 'also ran the Philadelphia Inquirer.' For more, click here.
'Sarah Gray Miller is out as the editor of the trendy food and culture title Modern Farmer' says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post. She may not care that much as the magazine that won 'two National Magazine Awards' is ceasing print and turning into a web site, or to use the current parlance, going digital only.

For more of what is going on, click here.
How B2B Publishers Are Driving Meaningful Engagement With Sponsored Content.

'Before marketers were scrambling to decode the needs and desires of the gigantic millennial audience' scribes Melynda Fuller at Media Post 'there were baby boomers.'

Quite a lot of baby boomers as well truth be told. However while it could be said that past generations of what we now call 'boomers' seemed to have far less boom than now. Fact of the matter is that 'as the boomers aged, their influence remained.'

One of the major voices has been the A.A.R.P., and probably nothing has had more effect than the magazine the association produces.

'A.A.R.P. The Magazine (ATM) announced yesterday' says Ms. Fuller 'that it’s increased its readership,', not just by a little bit, but 'substantially.'

While other magazines have lost circulation, 'The magazine ’s rise to No. 1 happened over the past decade, as its readership increased by 4.4 million' says Ms. Fuller and that is no mean feat!

So why, apart from the fact that the A.A.R.P. embraces an audience that many though too old, has the magazine done so well? For more on this, click here.

We all know finding new subscribers isn't easy.  You need to take advantage of every opportunity you can find.

Some magazines have had success using polybag inserts.  This is something you might want to investigate but be sure you test the concept first.  I recently received my copy of Vanity Fair, polybagged with an offer for Conde Nast

The insert has a very strong offer – good price and a free gift.  It’s four color with a cover of the magazine as well as the free premium.  There’s a call to action on both sides of the insert and enough copy to tell you something about Conde Nast Traveler. 
The order form is already addressed (it’s used as the delivery address for the Vanity Fair subscription).  Therefore, it’s very easy to order.  All the prospect has to do is check the term preferred and payment enclosed or bill me later and drop the card in the mail.  There is also a push to the web site to order for those who prefer to do so.  Some publishers have found offering prospects a choice – web site versus order card -- can slow down response so be sure you test this before you offer a choice.
Clearly, a polybag offer is less expensive than a direct mail offer although you do have to polybag the magazine.  However, you can select the issues you wish to polybag.  For instance, direct to publisher orders only or prior source renewals only.  You can select the strongest prospects from your circulation file.  No need to make the offer to everyone on the file.

Make a plan, do a bit of testing and be sure you follow postal regulations.  You may be pleasantly surprised.  And, wouldn't it be nice to find another way to sell some subscriptions?

June 19th 2018

is the 170th day of the year and there are 195 days remaining until the end of the year.


London, England

New York, U.S.A.
Sydney, Australia

Emmanuel Macron has put a teenager in his place after he called him by the nickname "Manu". The president was not happy with his improper conduct, and told the boy: "You call me Mr President of the Republic."Mr Macron told the young man: "You can act like a clown, but today, it is the Marseillaise, and the Partisans song, you call me 'Mr President of the Republic' or 'mister'.

Rapper XXXTentacion has been shot dead in south Florida.

Rapper Jimmy Wopo has been shot dead in Pittsburgh.

More than 21 million people tuned into see England's dramatic World Cup win against Tunisia - making it the most watched TV event of the year in the U.K. Whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex watched the match is not known. The players wore red shirts with matching red shorts and red full length socks with matching jock straps; the designer is not known.

Rumors that John Travolta's new film Gotti had raised its rating from 0% to 1% have proved to be false.

The desperation and suffering of young migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border appear to have been captured in an audio recording.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods and Beijing warned it would retaliate, in a rapid escalation of the trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies.

Embezzlement and bribery with government money are
among the charges that Malaysia is looking to bring against former prime minister Najib Razak following a probe into funds allegedly looted from the state-run fund 1MDB, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday.

The search for victims of a ferry that sank in the lake of an ancient super-volcano crater in Indonesia will resume on Wednesday with divers and an underwater drone to scour the depths for at least 128 missing passengers.

Will Ferrell will star in a new film about the Eurovision Song Contest for Netflix.

The makers of John Travolta's biopic of New York crime boss John Gotti have hit back at the critics who have panned it, describing them as "trolls". A new trailer on social media said: "Audiences loved Gotti... critics put out the hit." Film journalist tweeted "Your movie made like $38 last weekend, what 'audiences' are you talking about here?" although the film did actually earn $1,600,000 - still a clunker though!

The world's oldest known Sumatran orangutan has died in an Australian zoo aged 62, leaving behind 54 descendants.

Two people have been arrested in connection with last week's lynching of a traditional ruler, Igwe Steven Nwatu, in Nigeria's Enugu state

A shooting at an internet cafe in the southern Swedish city of Malmo has claimed the lives of three men.

Passengers on Northern Rail trains have been hit by
more disruption after staff walked out in a fresh strike in a long-running dispute over guards.

It is hoped than an exhumation will help find out what happened to an Irishman who went missing 33 years ago. Police will exhume remains from Menai Bridge cemetery on Anglesey on Tuesday as part of an operation using D.N.A. technology. The remains are now thought to belong to Joseph Brendon Dowley who was last seen about to board a ferry in his native Ireland. It is hoped an identification will bring the family closure.

A fresh attempt at solving a deadly crisis in Nicaragua through talks has stalled after opposition representatives and Catholic Church mediators walked out. At least 180 people have been killed since a wave of anti-government protests started on 18 April.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has accused an employee of carrying out "extensive and damaging sabotage" at the electric carmaker.

Authorities in Nigeria say they will close their border with an unnamed neighboring country within the next few days to stop foreign rice being smuggled in.

A baby boy who was born on a Parisian train on Monday
has been given free rail travel until he is 25 by the city's public transport company.

A Japanese company has launched a line of business suits specifically for blue-collar workers. The Oasys Style Wear company in Tokyo is launching a line of "lightweight, quick-to-dry" business suits in July for men and women who spend long periods of time working outdoors.

1566 – James VI and I of the United Kingdom (d. 1625)
1598 – Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1677)
1731 – Joaquim Machado de Castro, Portuguese sculptor (d. 1822)
1795 – James Braid, Scottish-English surgeon (d. 1860)
1854 – Eleanor Norcross, American painter (d. 1923)
1865 – May Whitty, English actress (d. 1948)

1883 – Gladys Mills Phipps, American horse breeder (d. 1970)
1902 – Guy Lombardo, Canadian-American violinist
and bandleader (d. 1977)
1903 – Lou Gehrig, American baseball player (d. 1941)

1905 – Mildred Natwick, American actress (d. 1994)

1910 – Sydney Allard, English race car driver,
founded the Allard Company (d. 1966)
1915 – Pat Buttram, American actor (d. 1994)
1930 – Gena Rowlands, American actress

1946 – Jimmy Greenhoff, English footballer and manager
1947 – Salman Rushdie, Indian-English novelist and essayist

1954 – Kathleen Turner, American actress
1955 – Mary O'Connor, New Zealand runner
1955 – Mary Schapiro, American lawyer and politician
1963 – Margarita Ponomaryova, Russian hurdler
1965 – Sadie Frost, English actress and producer
1972 – Robin Tunney, American actress
1980 – Jean Carroll, Irish cricketer
1983 – Macklemore, American rapper
1990 – Moa Hjelmer, Swedish sprinter

2017 – Otto Warmbier, American college student detained
in North Korea (b. 1994)

2014 – Gerry Goffin, American songwriter (b. 1939)
2013 – Vince Flynn, American author (b. 1966)
1995 – Peter Townsend, Burmese-English captain and pilot (b. 1914)
1975 – Sam Giancana, American mob boss (b. 1908)

1953 – Ethel Rosenberg, American spy (b. 1915)

1953 – Julius Rosenberg, American spy (b. 1918)
1867 – Maximilian I of Mexico (b. 1832)
1584 – Francis, Duke of Anjou (b. 1555)
1027 – Romuald, Italian mystic and saint (b. 951)

1179 – The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet outside Nidaros.
Earl Erling Skakke is killed, and the battle changes the tide
of the civil wars.

1306 – The Earl of Pembroke's army defeats Bruce's Scottish army at the Battle of Methven.

1850 – Princess Louise of the Netherlands marries Crown Prince Karl of Sweden–Norway.

1910 – The first Father's Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington.

1915 – USS Arizona (BB-39) is launched.

1944 – World War II: First day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

1961 – Kuwait declares independence from the United Kingdom.

1978 – Garfield, holder of the Guinness World Record for the world's most widely syndicated comic strip, makes its debut.

1987 – Basque separatist group ETA commits one of its most violent attacks, in which a bomb is set off in a supermarket, Hipercor, killing 21 and injuring 45.

1988 – Pope John Paul II canonizes 117 Vietnamese Martyrs.

1990 – The current international law defending indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, is ratified for the first time by Norway.

2012 – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange requested asylum in London's Ecuadorian Embassy for fear of extradition to the US after publication of previously classified documents including footage of civilian killings by the US army.

What is direct mail credibility?
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here. publishes cartoons from time to time; to check out some of the best, click here.

Day 170 of 365: World Sauntering Day; World Sickle Cell Day (International); Never Again Day (Uruguay); Laguna Day (Laguna).
It is perhaps the silliest, stupidest name for a company ever devised in our opinion. Tronc... sounds like the noise made as a baby loads its diaper is thinking of changing its 'name back [to] Tribune Publishing, the name it had since 2013 when the 166-year-old company split its broadcast and print divisions' says Sara Jerde at Adweek.

The name was changed to tronc to 'reflect its new digital ambitions' says Gerry Smith at Bloomberg and it stands for Tribune Online Content. We seem to recall that tronc was always to be written in lower-case as well, although this may just be our judgment clouded by the hysterical mirth with which we greeted the tronc name in the first place.

If all of this proves to be true, we shall miss tronc, short-lived and much maligned, but also the creator of great mirth at a time when mirth is not in abundance. Mind you, we suspect the tronc employees may be a great deal happier.


'Jon Robinson is the new editor of Wings Magazine' reports

Mr. Robinson was 'editor of Print Action another Annex trade publication. He came with Print Action when it was sold to Annex in 2013.' And since he is the new editor of a magazine about fixed winged aircraft, he must know about helicopters as well, so he has also been made editor of Helicopters magazine - onwards and upwards! For more, cliquez ici.

New monthly newspaper covering Gloucestershire towns is 'turning profit' with 'print-first'
Daily Mail
Australia’s publication of
suicide methods
not in public
interest, rules watchdog.

Newsquest daily Bolton News
announces new editor.

Sadly we cannot say we are surprised but Rogers Media has cut '75 staff from publishing operations. As Rogers moves further out [of] publishing about one-third of the staff from the publishing and digital content division have been let go' says Canada's Masthead.

There are still 150 staff 'left in the publishing division' and 'none of the frequencies of any of the publications has been changed' - yet. For more, cliquez ici.
'Norman Pearlstine has been named executive director of the paper, making him the fourth such editor there in under a year' says Kali Hays at Jim Kirk, a former star fleet commander in another life is the person Mr. Pearlstine is replacing, although Mr. Kirk left the company before the newspaper was sold by tronc to Nant Capital. For more, click here.

The staff at the Times are hopeful for the future of the newspaper, being owned by a company called Nant and not tronc must surely boost morale! For more on this part of the story, click here.
Facebook’s first
print magazine –
will it ‘Grow’
(or go up in smoke?)

June 18th 2018

is the 169th day of the year and there are 196 days remaining until the end of the year.


London, England

New York, U.S.A.
Sydney, Australia

Spray cans were found near the bodies of three men who have died after being hit by a train at a station in south London. The bodies were seen on the tracks at Loughborough Junction at 7.30am, and police are treating the deaths as "unexplained".

Angela Merkel's leadership is under threat after her alliance partner gave her two weeks to agree to turn away refugees at Germany's borders.

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake shook Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, early on Monday, killing three people, halting factory lines in an industrial area and bursting water mains, government and company officials said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will visit neutral European neighbors Switzerland and Austria next month, the Swiss and Austrian governments said, on a trip overshadowed by the looming imposition of U.S. economic sanctions on Tehran.

Young migrant children, many of whom have been taken from their parents' arms, are being kept in cages in facilities along the southern US border, according to journalists who were allowed inside.

A Donald Trump supporter has waved a "Keep America Great"
flag in front of a Robert De Niro-directed play in New York.
The man unfurled the banner while standing near the stage during a curtain call for A Bronx Tale, directed by De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks.

Singer John Legend has criticized U.S. house speaker Paul Ryan over a Father's Day video about the politician's children. Legend tweeted: "Seriously, fuck you. Reunite the families at the border and we can talk about father's day."

The two Koreas agreed on Monday to march together under a unified peninsula flag and form combined teams to compete in the next Asian Games, they said in a joint statement, in the latest sign of a thaw between the old rivals.

Eight Kenyan police officials were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device planted by Somalia's al Shabaab militant group, police said.

Germany woke to gloomy headlines of "chaos" and "humiliation" on Monday after the defending World Cup champions fell 1-0 to Mexico in a shock opening defeat in Russia.

The opening weekend of “Incredibles 2” took in $180 million easily landing the superhero sequel the best debut of all time for an animated film. That title was previously held by fellow Pixar sequel “Finding Dory,” which bowed with $135 million in 2016.

Tax rises will be needed to pay for the boost in N.H.S. funding announced by the government, the British prime minister says.

John Travolta's troubled biopic of New York crime boss John Gotti has finally reached cinemas, and the critics have only one thing to say: fuhgeddaboudit. One reviewer called it the "worst mob movie of all time", while another said it was "a dismal mess". The reviews are so damning that Gotti has achieved the rare distinction of getting a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush has condemned a controversial policy that splits up families who illegally enter the country at the Mexican border.

The chief executive of German carmaker Audi, Rupert Stadler, has been arrested in connection with an investigation into the diesel emissions scandal.

A military hat belonging to Napoleon, said to have been salvaged from the battlefield after his 1815 defeat at Waterloo, is due to be auctioned in Lyon later today.

Thousands of people have attended evening vigils in Australia for comedian Eurydice Dixon, whose killing last week prompted widespread anger. Ms Dixon, 22, died as she walked home after performing in Melbourne. A 19-year-old man has been charged with her rape and murder.

Iván Duque, the conservative political newcomer who
was elected as Colombia's president on Sunday, says he wants to unite the Andean country.

Syrian state media say US-led coalition aircraft bombed pro-government forces near the border with Iraq on Sunday, leaving a number of people dead. A coalition spokesman denied carrying out any strikes in the area.

1269 – Eleanor of England, Countess of Bar (d. 1298)
1318 – Eleanor of Woodstock (d. 1355)
1769 – Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, Irish-English politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (d. 1822)
1816 – Hélène Napoleone Bonaparte,
French daughter of Napoleon (d. 1907)
1839 – William H. Seward Jr., American general and banker (d. 1920)

1870 – Édouard Le Roy, French mathematician
and philosopher (d. 1954)
1877 – James Montgomery Flagg, American painter
and illustrator (d. 1960)
1896 – Blanche Sweet, American actress (d. 1986)
1901 – Llewellyn Rees, English actor (d. 1994)
1907 – Frithjof Schuon, Swiss-American metaphysicist, philosopher, and author (d. 1998)
1913 – Sammy Cahn, American pianist and composer (d. 1993)

1920 – Ian Carmichael, English actor and singer (d. 2010)
1936 – Denny Hulme, New Zealand race car driver (d. 1992)
1941 – Delia Smith, English chef and author
1942 – Roger Ebert, American journalist, critic
and screenwriter (d. 2013)
1943 – Barry Evans, English actor (d. 1997)

1947 – Linda Thorson, Canadian actress

1948 – Philip Jackson, English actor
1950 – Annelie Ehrhardt, German hurdler
1951 – Miriam Flynn, American actress and comedian
1951 – Ian Hargreaves, English-Welsh journalist and academic
1951 – Stephen Hopper, Australian botanist and academic
1961 – Alison Moyet, English singer-songwriter
1973 – Matt Parsons, Australian rugby league player
1973 – Gavin Wanganeen Australian footballer and coach

2014 – Claire Martin, Canadian author (b. 1914)

2012 – Tom Maynard, Welsh cricketer (b. 1989)

2005 – Mushtaq Ali, Indian cricketer (b. 1914)
1866 – Prince Sigismund of Prussia (b. 1864)
1704 – Tom Brown, English author and translator (b. 1662)
1291 – Alfonso III of Aragon (b. 1265)

741 – Leo III the Isaurian, Byzantine emperor (b. 685)

618 – Li Yuan becomes Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang dynasty rule over China.

1053 – Battle of Civitate: Three thousand horsemen of Norman Count Humphrey rout the troops of Pope Leo IX.

1429 – French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeat the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turns the tide of the Hundred Years' War.

1778 – American Revolutionary War:
British troops abandon Philadelphia.

1858 – Charles Darwin receives a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that includes nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory.

1873 – Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.

1908 – The University of the Philippines is established.

1923 – Checker Taxi puts its first taxi on the streets.

1928 – Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she is a passenger; Wilmer Stultz is the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic).

1972 – Staines air disaster: One hundred eighteen are killed when a BEA H.S. Trident crashes two minutes after take off from London's Heathrow Airport.

1979 – SALT II is signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.

1982 – Italian banker Roberto Calvi's body is discovered hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London, England.

1983 – Space Shuttle program: STS-7, Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.

1994 – Members of the Ulster Volunteer Force attack a crowded pub with assault rifles in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland. Six Catholic civilians are killed and five wounded. It was crowded with people watching the 1994 F.I.F.A. World Cup.

2007 – The Charleston Sofa Super Store fire happened in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine firefighters.

What is direct mail credibility?
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here. publishes cartoons from time to time; to check out some of the best, click here.

Day 169 of 365:
'Magazines are celebrating this year’s Pride Month' says Sara Guaglione at Media Post 'with a number of magazine covers, editorial and partnerships dedicated to the occasion.'

The 'month' commemorates the riots back in 1969 that 'were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

To find out some of things content providers are doing, click here.
'With a deal estimated at $80 million' says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post, 'David Pecker has managed to turn the world of glossy celebrity magazines on its head.'

On Friday, A.M.I. purchased 'In Touch, Life & Style, Closer and nine teen titles from Bauer Publications on Friday' adding to Us Weekly which was purchased last year. All of this means that A.M.I. 'will now sell more than 1 million celebrity magazines a week on newsstands' says Mr. Kelly 'despite newsstand sales declining 20 percent annually.' It is difficult to think of a celebrity magazine that is not now owned by Bauer - People is one, any others? For more, click here.

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Content marketing specialists know there is a great return on investments especially when teamed up with a quality telemarketing... Ronen Ben-Dror explores some options. Click here to read.

Native advertising is here to stay, probably. It is a good thing, possibly. So why can't Glen Martin decide whether he likes native or not? Click here to read.

We act as if “native advertising” is something new, so what is it and how should we best use it... an introduction to "native advertising!" Click here to read.

Just how safe is your data? With so much data held by publishers, could it be "hacked?" Elaine Tyson and Roy Beagley asked the people that know, the fulfillment bureaus themselves. Click here to read.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau found that more than a third of web traffic is fraudulent and BPA says only 40% of ads measured are actually viewable, but how much of a problem is this? Click here to read more....

Telemarketers are well aware of the Personal Identifier Question and recent changes in rules regarding the PIQ have caused somewhat of a debate in the industry. Ronen Ben-Dror of Blue Valley Telemarketing takes a look at what gives. Click here to read more....

Customers of telemarketing services often commission work without undertaking even the most elementary checks. What should the informed customer look for when choosing an outbound telemarketing agency? Click here to read,

Publishers need to address the USPS's suggested increase before it is too late. Click here to read,

Social media channels today are playing an interesting role in the future and the publishing world now views social media as a positive exchange with subscribers, so To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That Tis the Question Click here to read more....

How Well Do You Know Your Audience? The more you know, says Ronen Ben-Dror, this could eliminate the battle of qualifying leads. Click here to read more....

When executing a direct mail program, you should give lots of thought to the requirements of merge/purge. This could end up saving you a great deal of money, not forgetting making your life a great deal easier. Karen Tyson explains...

5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Planning Your Audience Development Efforts by Kinjal Husges. Click here to read more....

To develop a realistic circulation forecast based upon current economic, industry, and company conditions is part of any circulation director's job. Benefit from the accountant's view and read Peter Sangiorgio's 5 Simple Tips to consider when developing a Circulation Budget. Click here for Peter's insight.

Businesses that put their customers front and center will ultimately win and the secret to successfully scaling CRM practices into any large organization is to really understand your markets. Benefit from Pam's years of experience and learn how to segment your file and become a success. Click here for Pam's insight.

Sending out a direct mail campaign requires a good lettershop operation... Karen Tyson explains....

For years the concept of earning and deferring income has confused many, but it is not that difficult. Get the facts behind earned and deferred income from Peter Sangiorgio. Click here to read more....

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Cash flow is probably the most important resource any business has. Benefit from Peter's insight and knowledge. Click here to read this exclusive article.

Circulation can be an asset on a sales call. Peter Lenahan explains what to do, and as importantly not what to do in this exclusive article. Click here!

How to manage a telemarketing campaign and make it work for you. Karen Tyson explains....

While all major publishers maintain marketing databases, it is just as important for small publishers too. Pam would argue it’s more important than ever to maintain a database as a tool for identifying, developing and implementing strategy. Click here!

Getting a direct mail package printed takes advance planning. Karen Tyson has some thoughts and ideas as to how to make this sometimes daunting prospect easier to handle... Karen Tyson explains....

Rebecca Sterner is one of the most respected people in the audience development job function. Now you can benefit from Rebecca's knowledge on Setting Up an Auto Renewal Program. Click here.

Enjoy and benefit from this exclusive article for written by Peter Lenahan who explains why the circulation staff keep the sales force motivated, and how that benefits all concerned. Click here!

Reader's response: One of most intelligent articles I have ever read on ad sales and the all-important relationship with circulation. Well said. Harry S, Sacramento, Calif - via email.

Free magazines are different from "Controlled" as we all know, but the distinction is becoming less and less relevant to advertisers. Click here!

Evaluating how a campaign is working while agents are in the process of communicating with current or potential clients, live monitoring is an essential tool. Can companies afford to waste all those efforts on a careless approach to monitoring the campaign? Of course not. Click here to read more....

An accurate call list is an extremely important aspect in waging a successful telemarketing campaign. Scrubbing the list is the responsibility of the publishing company and the telemarketing agency. Click here to read more....

Virtually all marketing campaigns are most successful when they employ a multi-channel approach to a targeted audience... even in the "all-digital" world. Click here to read more....

On October 16th last year, a new regulation from the FCC went into effect. Ronen Ben-Dror asks how does the FCC rule affect you in the B2B environment? Click here to read more....



WWD does good email subscription promotions.  This one is hard to resist.  It’s got a good subject line – “URGENT:  Prices Going up in July.  Lock in Lower Rate Today”.  The email subject line is just like envelope teaser copy – it has to pull prospects into the promotion and this one accomplishes the mission.

The copy and design is clean, colorful and loaded with benefits – the biggest of course is “Beat the prince increase!  Last chance for Current Rate”.

And, if you order with this offer, you can also save 20% on the 6 month online access price and pay only $59.  It looks as if this might actually be a last chance.  And, it’s always good to think a last chance offer might actually be a last chance for something.  This offer was overused in mail efforts – but you don’t see it as often in email. The offer is used to good effect here.

There’s a prominent Subscribe button to make ordering easy.  Following that is a picture of the web site and arrows that call out the features of the site.  Clearly, WWD offers a lot for the money.  And as subscription promotions are all about the offer, this is a winner. To see a larger version of the offer, click here.

This TV Guide gift effort is colorful and loaded with smart ideas – a two for one offer, special donor renewal price, holiday gift cards, multiple premiums and a reply-by date to move prospects along.

This is a very good email offer for a subscription to the print edition of WWD.  There is a lot to recommend the creative.  First, the email looks the way you expect WWD to look – smart, elegant and intriguing.

Second, the copy is filled with proven direct marketing technique.  The headline says “Summer Special for Industry Insiders” and that’s an appeal to the recipient’s ego.  It’s very flattering to be considered an industry insider and to be recognized as such by an industry leader such as WWD is even more appealing.  If done correctly, flattering prospects is a smart move.

There is a very strong subscription offer being made and the email leads with that offer – a 34% price saving on a six month subscription.  Offers drive promotions and it’s important as a marketer to remember that fact. 

You can’t miss the call to action – a GET IT NOW button to order coupled with a prominent respond by date.  This technique generally moves prospects along to order as it creates a fear of missing out.  Direct marketers have used reply by dates for years and years in mailed offers.

There are also benefits offered in addition to the special subscription price – more content, a new, bolder look and “extras” such as daily email of top stories and three issues of Beauty Inc.

This email offer uses smart direct marketing technique developed through many years of print campaign testing and marries it to the immediacy of email.  It’s difficult to ask for more.

We recently received an interesting direct mail package offering a subscription to House Beautiful magazine.  It’s interesting for a number of reasons. Click on the picture below for more details.
The New York Times wants me back - nice. An outer envelope that perforates on the right, left and top which then revels a single order form and a postage paid reply envelope (not shown.) It is an interesting offer '50% off for 16 weeks' - the 50% off I understand, but the 16 weeks has me a tad confused... more than a quarter, less than a half and not quite a third. If it was intended to get me thinking, it did.

I can get all the digital elements my little heart desires and access to Ordering is made easy, I can phone, go online even use the USPS and try and reduce their losses.

Sadly, the reason I canceled my subscription weighs heavier on my mind as does the all-singing, all dancing offer I received, so for the moment NYT - thanks, but no thanks. To enlarge the image on the left, click on the image.
We recently received the regular offer from Opera News and this offer, like our old nanny Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way. '3 Risk-Free Issues' always a vote grabber, a free gift offer of a CD, an involvement device, savings of 68%, and a reply by instruction. We may have died and gone to heaven!

Inside, or the reverse depending on your point of view, 'Free' is mentioned not once, nor twice but four times in as many paragraphs and an excellent re-stating of what we are going to get, or not if we don't reply in ten days. The Free issues are even restated on the reply card. Whoever wrote and designed this should be sent a bag of onions, because they sure as hell know them. It looks good, does all the right things and Opera News mail it regularly, so we can conclude that it works for them. (Click here or on the thumbnail to view larger image.

We received our monthly renewal offer from TV Guide this week, and it does all the right things and looks good, and makes ordering very simple. As with many publications the actual renewal date is not mentioned, something which annoys me as a subscriber, but pleases me as a marketer - can you tell I am a Gemini? IF you click on the image above, you can see what happens at the ordering stage, although this is made as simple as possible. Interestingly, for an online order form, and a renewal form at that, TV Guide offers a Bill Me option.
Here's a good offer from Oracle Magazine for a qualified controlled publication. It has good benefits copy and makes requesting Oracle Magazine easy with a couple of "Subscribe Now" buttons.  There is interesting PS copy offering a new publication for those who might be interested in Java Magazine as well as Oracle. The design is clean, uncluttered and attractive. To view the offer, click here. Not sure why the publisher is only offering six free issues, but given the quality of the promotion there must be a very good reason.

Here is the latest offering from People magazine. Nice personalized outer envelope, and a simple and concise brochure showing good covers and copy that sells the subscription. To order, it's old school, snail mail - no mention of ordering via the web anywhere. Nice package and well done to People for knowing that direct mail via the post office is still a good way to get orders.

Click on the image to see large versions.
Here’s what appears to be an advance renewal offer from Vegetarian Times.  It’s a renewal sweeps – smart idea because the original sub order was placed through PCH.  We’re assuming it’s an advance renewal as only one copy of the subscription has been received thus far.  The offer is a strong one –a 78% saving on the renewal plus a chance to win $25,000 (along with other prizes).  Package includes clever “sweeps” techniques on the outer envelope, an offer deadline and small flyer detailing prizes.  Good job, Vegetarian Times!

Click on the image to see large versions.
We received this double postcard from GQ magazine. The card looks great, has a nice cover and a nice free gift, but also has a rather confusing offer. '24 issues of GQ for only $20.00 - that's 83c (plus 17 cents shipping and handling) per issue; in other words $24.00 then. If you add 83 cents to 17 cents, you get $1.00 which if you then multiply by 24 issues you get $24.00. Click on the image to see large versions.
When my subscription of 'The Week' arrived last week, inside the envelope was an offer for 12 issues of 'The Oldie' magazine. As far as I am aware these magazines are independent of each other, but have a great deal in common.

This is a nice way of promoting a magazine that is probably already known to readers of another magazine and would be fairly cheap to produce and execute. Nice offer. Click on the image for a larger view of the outside and inside.
Always nice to get something from 'The Economist' as they always do things so well.

A free copy of 'The World in 2013' is a nice incentive for the readers among us, and a free tablet cover for the tecchies to boot - which also indirectly pushes the digital version.

The predominant red is great as it screamed "ECONOMIST" as soon as I opened my email. Oh and 69c a copy, they got me! [Click here or on image for large version].
'People' really knows how to use it's house file. Good offer, nice creative and use of personalization.

The offer is strong and the order form is pre-populated - what's not to love?
(Click on the image to see larger size and also the order form page.

This is an interesting offer. On the one hand it pushes newsstand sales, you can save $1.00 if you print out the coupon. However if you clicked on the Save $1.00 link you can also subscribe and get eight issues free.

An offer is an offer,
even though this offer
is not publishing related,
it has ignored basic
promotion rule 1-0-1:
Know Thy Prospect!


To view larger size, click on the above image.

A recent offer from People magazine. It looks simple but a great deal of thought has gone into this offer, not least the cover featured on the tablets.

To view larger size, click on the above image.
Let's state it up front - we know the email at the end of the link is spam. Even so, it is a great example of why some design is a good thing in email promotions - even text only promotions. We cannot believe anyone who got this email would even have got so far a clicking a link! Click here to see the email, which is a screen shot taken from our computer.

Rebecca Sterner wrote on CircSpot on how to set up an autorenewal. It just so happens that today we received our auto renewal for Time. In all honesty we had not planned to renew it, but it is done, and although we could cancel it, $81.00 for 56 issues is not worth the hassle of canceling, so we guess the auto renewal worked... at least in our case.

To view larger size, click on the above image.
A reader looked for something on the Times of London web site, and this popped up while the page they wanted to view was loading. He liked it, took a picture, and sent it to us - thanks Glyn C-R of Buckinghamshire.

To view larger size, click on the above image.

A reader subscribed to Fast Company and paid $10.00 for a subscription. After placing the order, they received an email offering a $5.00 credit if she can get another person to subscribe in the next 6 hours. This seemed like a very clever idea to the the person who sent us the information - and we agree.

To view larger size, click on the above image.

Here's a nice promotion from The Nation.  It's quick to read, offers an invitation to receive exclusive free offers - it's a flattering offer and comes from a credible publication.

It ultimately leads you to a subscription landing page offering 4 free issues (very strong offer) plus attractive subscription prices and a choice of format - print or online access.
The promotion is clean and uncluttered with enough enticing benefits to attract readership.

Click on the image above for a larger version.