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

January 28th 2015
is the 28th day of the year and there are 337 days remaining until the end of the year.

New Greek PM Alexis Tsipras tells his first cabinet meeting his country will not default on its bailout debts.

Russia says North Korea has accepted an invitation to visit Moscow, it will be Kim Jong-un's first overseas trip as leader.

US warns of more sanctions on Russia.

The US National Weather Service says its forecasting is "subject to error", after predictions of a historic blizzard for New York City fell flat.

UN peacekeeper killed in Lebanon.

1312 – Joan II of Navarre (d. 1349);
1600 – Pope Clement IX (d. 1669);
1712 – Tokugawa Ieshige, shogun (d. 1761);
1873 – Colette, author (d. 1954);
1911 – Johan van Hulst, academic and politician;
1918 – Harry Corbett, puppeteer (d. 1989);
1927 – Ronnie Scott, saxophonist (d. 1996);
1929 – Acker Bilk, clarinet player (d. 2014);
1944 – Bobby Ball, comedian, actor, and singer;
1957 – Kent Kessler, bassist;
1957 – Mark Napier, ice hockey player;
1981 – Elijah Wood, actor.


1986 – crew of Space Shuttle Challenger.

Follow on Twitter, click on the logo.

Follow on Facebook, click on the logo.

Let's talk balls - And Another Thing!
Click here to read.(Audio version)


Play your cards right - get the straight talk on insert cards. Click here to read.

This time last year the concern was just starting as to whether Scotland would leave the United Kingdom, but now the Scots have voted and 55%

said "no", so "no" it is. The National is a pro-independence newspaper and at one point the circulation was 100,000 a day. Now it is a fifth of that but says 'publisher Newsquest adamant sales will surge in the run up to the 2015 general election.' For more, click here.

Apparently to cope with 'advertising opportunities it hopes will fuel ongoing efforts to sell advertisers on reader attention not clicks, in an environment designed to improve the chances of branded content being seen' says

'For the first time brands can now run a single creative execution on Guardian content across all device screen sizes' as the previous design was restrictive. For more, click here.
except that almost always it actually isn't. According to Keith J. Kelly 'staffers on Bloomberg Markets are feeling the heat following the recent shake-up at the top of the editorial masthead of Mike Bloomberg’s company.'

Apparently the 'Markets staff has already been put on notice by Senior Executive Editor Josh Tyrangiel... who is said to have recently told staffers they have 60 days to shape up. The ultimatum was rather vague' apparently. Oh well could be worse, the British could be coming... erm... for more, click here.

'The Economist can’t live on ad revenue alone' says Chris Smith at which means it is probably just as well that 'over 50 percent of its overall revenue, £167 million ($251 million), is tied to subscriptions.'

Now we all know, and if you didn't, you do now, The Economist know what they are doing, if they do something, keep an eye on them. 'Six months ago' says Chris, 'The Economist began running its own ad retargeting program in-house by having a dedicated member of its marketing team execute campaigns via a DSP — DoubleClick Bid Manager.' To learn more, click here.

Especially Glamour's Connie Anne Phillips and managing director of real estate Bob Bennis who got top honors at Condé Nast's annual publishers' meeting. 'Phillips has "significantly" driven year-over-year growth in "virtually every metric,' says chief executive officer Chuck Townsend and president Bob Sauerberg in a staff memo. 'Bob Bennis, was named corporate executive of the year' for handling the move from Time Square to their new offices in lower Manhattan.

Lots more went on apparently... well done to Susan Plagemann, Teen Vogue and ordinary-old Vogue. 'Traveler, which nabbed the gold awards, was able to "increase pre-overhead profit by bigger margins than any other business at the company," under publisher Bill Wackermann' says Alexandra Steigrad at and for lots more, click here!

Meredith Corporation announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Shape magazine and the digital assets of the Shape, Natural Health, and Fit Pregnancy brands from American Media (AMI). Meredith will begin producing Shape magazine with the May 2015 issue, with current readers of Shape and Meredith's Fitness magazine receiving the new and enhanced Shape magazine. Shape will have a rate base of 2.5 million, an increase of 60 percent from its current level of 1.6 million. The Shape and Fitness websites sites will continue to operate as separate digital destinations, with a combined reach of almost 7 million unduplicated unique monthly visitors.

Financial terms were not disclosed.
Taunton Press president has stepped down and Dan McCarthy takes over for the time being, for that, click here. Meanwhile Caity Weaver has stepped up to the position of senior editor at Gawker Media, and for this, click here.


'The in flight magazine of WestJet, published by Calgary-based Redpoint Media, is unveiling a new look and a new name WestJet Magazine' reports For more, click here.

Ad Age Names BtoB Best Award Winners for 2015.

Do we really remember the commercials shown during the Super Bowl – or are we just convinced we do?

Sunday is football’s big day.  Well, here in America it is. The New England Patriots will battle the Seattle Seahawks to earn the right to hoist high the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Shortly some expert on television will tell us many people watch the Super Bowl just for the advertisements, which in all honesty we find difficult to believe. On Monday various experts will be seen on television analyzing the advertisements broadcast during the four-hour football feast. They will tell us which commercials were good, which were bad, which ones we will remember as well as which ones we have probably already forgotten. But do people really watch a game that lasts nearly four hours just for the commercials, will we remember them – and more importantly do they work?

Jack Neff at noted last year that ‘A study by research firm Communicus suggests 80% of the ads don't sell stuff’ and Mr. Neff also noted that ‘Super Bowl ads actually do better than average in ad awareness, with 44% of people remembering they've seen an average Super Bowl ad vs. 32% for other ads’ – which of course means that over half of the people viewing the commercial ignore it. When you run the numbers this does not seem like a particularly good deal.

The web site ran a survey last year, asking people how many commercials they remembered from the previous year. Gerardo A. Dada at conducted a test and wrote ‘a random sample of people were presented with a screenshot and a descriptive title of each ad. The results are telling.’ Indeed they are – only 29% of the sample could recall all the advertisements they were shown, and wrote Mr. Dada ‘less than 20% of respondents could recall seven of the 12 ads. Aside from the four top brands, less than 15% of respondents could recall the remaining ads.’ 13.3% of the sample managed to match the brand with the correct ad but for three of the twelve ads the sample were shown, not only was the brand not known, the sample could not even guess!

According to Mike Ozanian of Forbes, it will cost $4.5 million this year for a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl and $9 million for a one-minute commercial and one company has spent their entire budget for 2015 on one commercial – brave company, hope it works.

Could it be the only people that really “love” Super Bowl commercials are the broadcast stations that take it in turn to air the football fest each year and need to “top up” their bottom line? Almost every year, and this year is no exception, there is a television program that shows the best of the Super Bowl commercials. So not only do the broadcast stations benefit from the original income for showing the commercial, they also get a ready-made program that costs them hardly anything – and get to show commercials between the commercials! We tried to recall past Super Bowl commercials, and considering how many there are, we did not do well.

One person recalled The Clydesdales and Go Daddy – and that was it for them. Another thought they recalled Clint Eastwood and a chair, yet another person seemed to recall frogs – but couldn't tell us why. So who exactly really benefits from advertising in the football fest? In most cases it is not the advertiser, nor the potential purchaser as the above figures seems to confirm. The people broadcasting the commercials do rather well, as we presume do the advertising agencies that produce and place them. In other words the very people that tell us how great Super Bowl commercials are. It will be very interesting to see if the company we mentioned earlier, the one that has blown their whole annual budget on one advertisement does well and prospers – we just have to try and remember their name!


Follow on Twitter,
click on the logo above.

Follow on Facebook, click on the logo above.

To be added to the weekly alert,
complete the form below. Or click here to send an email.

January 27th 2015
is the 27th day of the year and there are 338 days remaining until the end of the year.

Survivors mark Auschwitz anniversary.

New York shuts down for blizzard.

Militants attack top Libya hotel.

Tom Petty given credit on Sam Smith song.

Benedict Cumberbatch says "I'm an idiot" after talking about "colored actors" on a US talk show.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announces plans to dissolve the country's intelligence agency after the mysterious death of a prosecutor.

The Indonesian military suspends recovery operations for AirAsia flight QZ8501 in the Java Sea after repeatedly failing to lift the fuselage.

1621 – Thomas Willis, physician (d. 1675);
1805 – Maria Anna of Bavaria (d. 1877);
1805 – Princess Sophie of Bavaria (d. 1872);
1908 – William R. Hearst, Jr., publisher (d. 1993);
1924 – Brian Rix, actor;
1936 – Troy Donahue, actor (d. 2001);
1944 – Mairead Maguire, activist, ;
1954 – Stelios Papafloratos, footballer;
1954 – Ed Schultz, talk show host.


2014 – Pete Seeger, singer (b. 1919);
2010 – J. D. Salinger, author (b. 1919);
2010 – Ajmer Singh, sprinter (b. 1940).

Follow on Twitter, click on the logo.

Follow on Facebook, click on the logo.

Let's talk balls - And Another Thing!
Click here to read.(Audio version)


Play your cards right - get the straight talk on insert cards. Click here to read.

Footwear News launched a new redesign yesterday following 'the acquisition of Fairchild from Condé Nast for a reported $100 million last fall' reports Nicole Levy a

“The [new] print product will attempt to curate some of the better web elements," FN editorial director Michael Atmore told Capital last week. "The idea is to create a full circle between web and print content." For more of Nicole's report, click here.

ORGANIC LIFE (Take care on spelling title!)
Chris O'Shea at reports 'Organic Life, a new publication from Rodale expected to hit newsstands in April, has added several staffers.' To find out who they are, and what they do, click here.

Meanwhile , 'Emmis Publishing, which owns regional magazines nationwide, has announced major hires for Texas Monthly and Cincinnati magazines' says Fern Siegel at - to learn more, click here.


Well that is the way it used to be, but says Lucia Moses at 'Condé Nast, publisher of famous glossies like Vogue and GQ, said it would use its editorial staff to write the ad copy as part of the creation of a new branded content arm.' We live in a world now where "jack of all trades, master of none" is actually a compliment, but notes Ms. Moses 'media critic Jack Shafer said Condé Nast is endangering its brand. “By mixing the two forms — editorial content and advertising — Condé Nast is debasing the former to the benefit of the latter,” he said.' For more of Lucia's excellent article, click here.
Jackie Annesley reports Emilio Casalicchio at 'has been appointed editor of The Sunday Times Style supplement' which is good news since she has spent the last 'four months as the magazine’s acting editor.'

Annesley said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to edit such a popular magazine" after a career that spans 20 years including roles at the Daily Mail London Evening Standard. For more, click here.

The Economist for the first time will be edited by - wait for it - a female. Her name is Zanny Minton Beddoes and is currently The Economist's Business affairs editor. The board of trustees of the newspaper appoints the editor, and the editor cannot be removed without the trustees permission. Says Gideon Litchfield at 'the venerable British publication, where I spent 16 years... is practically a pioneer. The Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times have never had a female editor, and nor have the Times, Telegraph or Guardian in Britain.' So who is Zanny Minton Beddoes?

Born in the 1960s she attended Moreton Hall School an independent boarding and day school in North Shropshire before moving on to Inspector Morse's favorite town,
Oxford and Oxford University after which she also attended Harvard as a Kennedy Scholar. She is a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace a foreign-policy think tank that describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States.

Ms. Minton Beddoes joined The Economist in 1994 after spending two years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she worked on macroeconomic adjustment programmes in Africa and the transition economies of Eastern Europe.

January 26th 2015
is the 26th day of the year and there are 339 days remaining until the end of the year.

Forecasters predict a huge blizzard on the US north-east coast, with New York's mayor warning of a record storm.

Eddie Redmayne wins best actor at the Screen Actor's Guild awards.

President Barack Obama attends
India's Republic Day.

Greek singer Demis Roussos has died,
he was aged 68.

The two sons of Hosni Mubarak
are released from jail.

The body of Mexican journalist Moises Sanchez, is found in the town of Medellin de Bravo in Veracruz.

1763 – Charles XIV John of Sweden (d. 1844);
1908 – Jill Esmond, actress (d. 1990);
1908 – Stéphane Grappelli, violinist (d. 1997);
1925 – David Jenkins, bishop;
1940 – Séamus Hegarty, bishop;
1954 – Kim Hughes, cricketer;
1967 – Bryan Callen, actor;
1984 – Iain Turner, footballer;
2008 – Paul the Octopus, octopus (d. 2010)


2013 – Lesley Fitz-Simons, actress (b. 1961).

Follow on Twitter, click on the logo.

Follow on Facebook, click on the logo.

So there is not enough "diversity" at the Oscars, the solution is simple. Click here to read.(Audio version)


Get the straight talk on how and when to use a buckslip. Click here to read.

It was a short life, but a dramatic one. However the magazine the media, and readers loved is no more. 'The Hudson, NY-based magazine featured serious and thoughtful stories about the agricultural industry' writes Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke at and less than a year ago the magazine we were all talking about after it won the best magazine section award for its how-to guide was Modern Farmer - but a year later...

“I don’t want to speak ill of the dying" says author and magazine veteran Kurt Andersen, who we suspect is about to do just that... "but what is the plausible audience in such a magazine?” he asked. “It was too kind of nitty-gritty and old-fashioned, back-to-the-land hippie magazine for the food-farm porn market, and yet too ‘What about the dairy situation in the Philippines?’ for people who are really raising chickens for a living.”

Now we should note that depending where you look, the demise of Modern Farmer is not confirmed. The web site says nothing and the New York Times are currently stating the magazine is simply suspended.


OK, be honest if you have the word "illustrated" in your magazine title, chances are you have to put in quite a lot of illustrations. So, why has Sports Illustrated laid off its entire six-person photo staff? '“There was a decision made through the company to restructure various departments, including at Sports Illustrated" says Brad Smith, SI’s director of photography' as reported by Keith J Kelly at the New York Post. For more, click here.

'Johnson Publishing Company, the esteemed African American owned publisher of Ebony [is] to sell its photo archive of five million photos' reports Five million pictures in all and if you are thinking of buying them, be prepared to pay in the region of $40,000,000. For more, click here.

'The Pilot has agreed to purchase Business North Carolina magazine from Red Hand Media' reports and 'the deal, expected to close within days, will double the size of the division, with revenue of The Pilot’s non-newspaper businesses matching that of the twice-weekly paper for the first time.

Needless to say details of the transaction were not available but the magazine has a circulation of around 27,500 'and was named the country’s best regional business magazine in 2012.' For more, click the pilot!

Annex Media buys print
and digital B2B properties from Glacier Media
for $19.7 million.


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.


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.

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....

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....

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....

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,

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....

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....

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

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

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.

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!

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!

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....

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....

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....