Conde Nast, IPC and NatMags in joint sales drive

Three of the main consumer magazine publishers, IPC, the National Magazine Company and Conde Nast, have joined forces in an unprecedented alliance to increase revenue from subscription sales.

Three of the main consumer magazine publishers, IPC, the National

Magazine Company and Conde Nast, have joined forces in an unprecedented

alliance to increase revenue from subscription sales.



The alliance, Publishers Direct, will pool databases for a direct mail

initiative to 100,000 lapsed subscribers to challenge the success of UK

publishing clearing houses.



If successful, Publishers Direct will seek to recruit other publishers

in a long-term subscriptions drive.



This week, the publishers sent out a mailer to lapsed subscribers

offering subscriptions to 24 titles, including magazines such as Tatler,

Marie Claire and Vogue, and the chance to enter a prize draw for a

luxury holiday.



Publishing clearing houses, which came to the UK from the US several

years ago, have generated significant business volume. But the profit

margins gained from the business are modest.



Joan Scanlon, the director of subscriptions marketing at NatMags, said:

’The Publishers Clearing House and British Family Publishing all form

part of the marketing mix, but they are mailing millions of

subscriptions packs. We hope there is the potential to run this kind of

campaign for ourselves.’



One noticeable absentee from the initiative is Emap. However, Scanlon

insisted: ’We felt it prudent to have a smaller group and there was huge

synergy with the titles that were involved.’



WWAV Rapp Collins and the fulfilment company, Quadrant Subscriptions

Services, are working on the direct mail campaign.



Media buyers welcomed the co-operation. Tim Kirkman, TMD Carat’s press

director, said: ’It’s great to see them working as an industry rather

than a collection of individuals. It’s more than the newspaper

publishers can do.’



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