Haymarket 50 Years: 50 Glorious Moments. (2 of 2)


Tim Waldron: "The decision for Haymarket to expand into Asia in 1998 was timed to perfection. As we arrived, the region was plunged into its worst economic downturn since the Second World War.

"Our first foray into Asia was a consumer joint venture with the South China Morning Post, which allowed us a foothold in Hong Kong. However, the first wholly owned Haymarket entity came a year later with the acquisition of Media magazine from its proprietor, Ken McKenzie.

"At the first meeting Heseltine sat in McKenzie's cramped Causeway Bay office, drinking tea out of a chipped mug, a nobody to the Chinese staff who treated him as another Go Lo Gwei Lo (tall man, white ghost). The sprinkling of UK expats that McKenzie kept in the backroom were in awe of their former deputy PM. What the hell was he doing here?

"Heseltine, of course, was sniffing out an opportunity. While Campaign was the bible of the advertising industry in the UK, a scrappy fortnightly title in Hong Kong, named Media, was its counterpart in Asia. 'Campaign was everything that Media wasn't,' McKenzie recalls. 'It was sleek, well designed, opinionated and beautifully written, and sometimes slimy, pompous, vacuous and arrogant. Media was rough, ill mannered, disjointed and caring - totally in touch with its audience.'

"Heseltine saw Media for what it could be, and he fought a battle for control with Media's general manager, a Chinese woman called Amy Wan, who had a brilliant command of facts, and didn't care if he was a former Minister for Defence.

"For McKenzie, however, it was the dilemma of a lifetime. On one hand, the Americans were offering him a fortune; on the other hand, the Brits were letting the moths out. 'I didn't really want to sell anyway; the money would be nice but didn't fancy having to report to someone,' he says. 'It came down to who I thought I would enjoy having a few beers with.'

"So, in 2000, Haymarket's Jeremy Vaughan and Tony Schulp began the courtship that led to acquiring Media. It was a small publication but a first step to growth in Asia.

"That year, I moved to Singapore to launch CEI Asia-Pacific. It was a time when Asia was showing signs of crawling out of recession, and confidence was returning to the corporate group travel market. But little did I know that over the next five years 9/11, a Gulf War, two bomb attacks on Bali, Sars, a devastating tsunami and Bird Flu outbreaks would do their best to derail it being a success. Today, the magazine has established itself as the region's leading MICE publication.

"Three years on, we took a major step forward in transforming the business with the purchase of a group of online and print titles covering the regional capital and investment markets. FinanceAsia, Asian Investor, Private Capital and FinanceAsia.com had been going less than a decade when we acquired them, but had already carved out market-leading positions among their readerships of investment bankers, finance directors and investors. Their addition doubled the number of staff in our Hong Kong office to more than 100 and has taken us into markets a long way from our marketing core.

"When the deal was agreed during the depths of the Sars crisis - it seems almost surreal now, but everyone round the table was wearing hygiene masks - we would never have predicted the speed with which the Asian economy, as well as the capital and asset management sectors, would have rebounded."

Tim Waldron is the managing director of Haymarket Media Asia.


Bill Murray: "1997. Much excitement about this internet thing. With some suspicion, we had started experimenting with content supply to AOL.

"Meanwhile, the Barclays-owned Camden Motors Group was aggressively promoting its new Car Shop business, a touch-screen-driven kiosk, where consumers could browse through information about cars electronically, compare them back to back, watch video presentations and even shop for and purchase them. An electronic version of What Car?, in other words.

"They planned to hit every shopping centre and high street with these BT 'kiosks'. Additionally, they had contracted for Sky to carry Car Shop on its 'red button' interactive text service. The internet site was but a small sideline in their vision.

"Unfortunately, Barclays had lost belief and wanted rid. The only stumbling block was justifying investment to buy a business unlike anything we'd dealt with before. And time - it was mid-December and the deal had to be done before year-end.

"I arranged a demonstration; everyone saw the possibilities and Haymarket's first serious online steps followed. The week before Christmas saw us make camp across the table from Barclays' lawyers. On Christmas Eve, we did the deal. Initially, horribly distracted following the less successful parts of the original strategy, we quickly recognised the significance of the traffic growth and positive consumer feedback to the Car Shop website on to which we'd stuck our brand. What Car? had been a website waiting for the internet to arrive!

"Its objective, thorough approach to road tests translated well on to the internet. The editorial team set about bringing What Car?'s formidable library of reviews and data to life in the site. Its success today is a testimony to their energy and vision.

"Overall, it took us a couple of million to get there, but whatcar.com made its first profit in 2002. Since then it's been a story of non-stop development. In 2003, the first video road test was added to whatcar.com; today we have more than 300 online, plus a weekly video podcast. In September 2004, the first of more than 11,000 reader reviews was uploaded. And in January 2007, more than one million unique users visited whatcar.com for the first time. Our numbers have grown ever since.

"In 2002, whatcar.com became the first online product to spawn an offline publication. The What Car? Road Test Directory (now called New Car Guide) featured the website's pictures and nine-point road tests assessments, automatically flowing into a pre-set template. It still sells around 13,000 copies at £5.99 every month."

Bill Murray is the managing director, group digital strategy, at Haymarket Media Group.


Rufus Olins: "'It is running on a quarter tank,' Peter York concluded. The results of his research into Management Today were stark. The life of the manager had changed beyond recognition and MT had failed to change with it.

"The technological revolution, keener competition and globalisation meant that the rules of management had been re-written. Gone were the conventional career ladders and role models. Technology was churning out new types of business and pushing older, bigger players to the wall. Certainties were disappearing. People were left on their own to manage their careers and meet the increasing demands of life outside the office.

"Newly installed as editor, I'd commissioned the research. In such a fast-changing world, it was to be expected that the world of our readers had changed. I presented to Lindsay Masters and Michael Heseltine. They agreed to the most radical makeover of Management Today in 33 years.

"The change was more than cosmetic. A new team - including Debra Zuckerman and journalists and designers from the FT, The Independent and The Telegraph - set about creating a magazine that was relevant to the modern workplace: intelligent, accessible, entertaining and practical.

"The new Brain Food section introduced a melting pot of ideas ranging from speech-making techniques (a first) to leading-edge management perks and practices. There was a Q&A with Bill Gates; Jeremy Bullmore made his debut as an Agony Uncle; Dennis Stevenson told readers 'How to Make Yourself Indispensable', and John Weak, Diary of a Cave Manager made its first appearance, by the brilliant Guy Browning.

"Women also featured more prominently than before - on the staff, among the contributors and within the themes and features of the mag. Within a few months MT had introduced 35 women under 35; which was followed by the Work: Life Balance survey and Britain's Most Powerful Women.

"Advertising was booming in the heady days of the dotcom and after six months of preparation MT was ready to ride the wave. Our new catchline on the cover captured the spirit well: Not Just Business As Usual.

"But before we could go out with the new issue, we had one final issue to resolve: the title. I believed that it was time to swap Management Today for the punchier MT. Lindsay was not so sure. Finally, days before Christmas 1998, he called. 'I woke up very early this morning thinking about the name,' he said. 'You have provided logical argument and reasons for a change; but emotionally I am just not ready to do it. Sorry.'

"At last we had a decision. The madeover Management Today emerged in April 1999 with Gerry Robinson as its first cover star (the name change took place four years later)."

Rufus Olins is the managing director of Haymarket Brand Media.


Stephen Farish: "Everyone thought we were mad. Brave, perhaps, but certifiably, eye-swivellingly mad.

"Consider the evidence. We planned to launch a weekly in the United States - the world's most competitive publishing market. The magazine would cover the public relations business - an industry which the Americans invented. We planned to do it under the noses of giants like Advertising Age. Oh, and this would be Haymarket's first magazine launch outside the UK. And we gave ourselves eight weeks to do it.

"The idea began with a conversation I had with John Graham, doyen of the US PR world, at the UK PRWeek Awards. A couple of months later, I had a visit out of the blue from Ray Gaulke, the COO of the Public Relations Society of America, who made an impassioned pitch for Haymarket to launch a US edition.

"This spurred us into doing some field research and writing a launch plan. To cut a long story short, we managed to enthuse Michael Heseltine with the idea and we got the money to give it a go. In mid-September 1998 the core publishing team arrived in New York, the ink barely dry on our visas.

"There were four of us. Adam Leyland had been lured away from Press Gazette as the editor-in-chief, Julie Moore was the advertising director, and Rupert Heseltine headed up display advertising. I was the newly appointed publisher. We had no staff, offices, PCs, suppliers, circulation list - anything, in fact.

"A few snapshots give a flavour of those hectic initial weeks: Julie interviewing sales staff in a broom cupboard; Rupert paying the printer's bill for the first issue with his Amex card; Adam smashing his keyboard in frustration as our new IT system crashed for the umpteenth time; and me hiring a driver (who turned out to be a gun-toting member of the Nation of Islam) to ferry Michael around.

"To our surprise we were welcomed with open arms - despite being Limey interlopers. In fact, we launched with more than $400,000 of revenue in the bag. Admittedly, we had a good brand and a lot of chutzpah. But we also benefited from the in-built American desire to see start-ups succeed.

"One story illustrates this perfectly.At the last minute our franking machine ran out of credit to mail the launch letters to prospective clients. Which is how Rupert and three colleagues found themselves sitting on the floor of the NY Post Office late one afternoon, solemnly sticking stamps on 3,000 envelopes. A passing New Yorker asked what they were doing and Rupert explained that we were a bunch of Brits trying to launch a magazine (and running out of time). Without hesitation, she sat down to help.

"Somehow - mainly thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of the 25-strong team we assembled - it all came together. On 16 November 1998, we published the first issue; 26,000 copies circulated in all 50 states. It included a personal letter from Rudy Giuliani welcoming the new title.

"Since the madness of those first few months, the title has matured and thrived - first under Julie, Adam and Rupert, then under Lisa Kirk, Jonah Bloom (now editor of Ad Age) and Julia Hood, the current editor-in-chief. Incredibly, PRWeek US will be celebrating its tenth birthday next year. The title has weathered the dotcom crash and the horror of 9/11. Along the way it has redesigned itself, lost its British accent, and become a respected fixture of the US PR scene."


Kevin Costello: "The mid-to-late 90s was a period of extraordinary change in the consumer electronics business.

"The change came with the arrival of five-channel audio and flat-screen televisions - hi-fi began a transformation into a centrepiece for every home, a toy that every member of the family would interact with.

"As proprietors of the country's best-selling hi-fi title, we clearly needed to respond. At the time, our research and development team was putting long hours into investigating Project Gizmo, our blueprint for this emerging market.

"Dennis Publishing had seen the opportunity, and quickly launched Stuff magazine. Its first issues were a solid attempt at addressing this emerging market, but it was soon thrown off-course by the lads' magazine boom: before long, it was relegated to the role of protecting the Dennis flagship, Maxim. In a crowded market, and saddled with a defensive remit, it soon began to struggle.

"The CEO of Dennis at the time, Alastair Ramsey, knew of our ambitions in the market. He notified me of their intention to close: they had already informed the advertising agencies that the next issue (December '98) would be their last.

"We needed to act quickly if we wanted to salvage a title with huge potential. The problem was not proof of concept, but a way of convincing Michael Heseltine that this was not a ploy to enter the lads' market by stealth (a prospect that he would find unacceptable, to say the least).

"Eric Verdon-Roe had just arrived in China when I called him with the bad news. Just as we feared, Michael had rejected Stuff on taste grounds. Eric immediately flew back to London overnight and was waiting to persuade Michael to change his mind when he arrived in the office that morning. He let us go ahead - provided that we dramatically improve the quality of the photography. Since then he has always referred to Stuff as his idea, accompanied by a wry smile and a wink.

"We set about a radical overhaul of the content. Stuff would realise its original editorial remit, and how - the market was hungry for new, shiny, exciting products, and we were ready to feed that hunger. Within two months, we had replaced the lads' features with page after page of incredible gadgets.

"We closed the deal with Dennis within a week, only to realise that we had no space to house the team in our Hampton Road offices. There was only one option: we cleared a stock room in the basement of the building, and installed desks and computers. Our first edition appeared within eight weeks. It wasn't perfect, but perhaps the team improved every issue, taking on board sales figures and reader feedback.

"We also set about the challenge of creating a global brand: although Dennis retained the rights for the title in the US and Canada, we would take Stuff around the rest of the world.

"Within a year of the purchase, we were on course to create a global brand that today provides content on multiple platforms to 23 international editions (and counting). Stuff has an annual show, and a website (Stuff.tv).

"What did we learn from Stuff? That success can be as much a by-product of timing and contacts as is vision and knowledge. Oh, and if you buy a magazine, it's good to have a place to put it."

Kevin Costello is the managing director of Haymarket Consumer Media and the chairman of Haymarket Network.


Hormazd Sorabjee: "I grew up in Mumbai reading imported copies of Autocar, and Haymarket journalists like Mel Nichols and Steve Cropley were my heroes and role models.

"My first direct contact with Haymarket came in January 1998 when I was approached about licensing F1 Racing. At the time I was editor of Auto India. Nothing came of it, but we stayed in touch and in January 1999 I called Jeremy Vaughan (now managing director of Haymarket Australia) and asked him: 'Would you be interested in launching Autocar in India?'

"By that time I had left Auto India and had taken some of my team with me. But the German publishers Motor Presse were already talking to me about launching Auto Motor & Sport. I told Jeremy this, and he went beetroot red and threatened to let Mel and Steve loose in India to take us on. But the Germans were wooing me hard, calling me all the time and showing much more interest than Haymarket.

"A couple of months later I went to the Geneva Motor Show, and planned to go to Stuttgart after to sign the deal. But the Haymarket people were all over the show and all over me. I didn't have a mobile phone, so Eric Verdon-Roe (the group managing director of Haymarket Media) lent me his. I didn't realise what a trap that was. It meant that only Haymarket people could contact me. He said the only way I could return the phone was to come to London after the show. I was basically 'kidnapped'.

"While I was in London we signed the deal. Of course I already had an emotional tie-in to the magazine but in the end I was won over by the sense of trust and partnership that was evident. Under Indian law, no foreign company could own any publication, or even take a minority. Haymarket gave me the money to launch the magazine, knowing that if it failed the money would be gone, and even if it succeeded, they still wouldn't own Autocar India and I would have 100 per cent.

"The law has changed today and we have a proper joint venture now, but there's still a huge amount of trust there. I really appreciated, for example, how I was allowed to alter the Autocar format for the local market. It's paid off too: we have a readership of 198,000 and are number one in every measure - readers, pagination, advertising, and so on. Plus, we don't allow ads on right-hand pages, which is another local difference. I mean, this was the first issue of Autocar outside the UK in 104 years and I was allowed to make adjustments as I saw fit. That's partnership.

"Haymarket's deal with me allowed it to get a racing start in India ahead of the law change. And they did it with one of their flagship brands. That's a sign of how important India is going to be to the company. We now publish Autocar, Autocar Professional, F1 Racing, What Car? and What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision. We've also launched another flagship brand, Campaign, in India. I expect a lot more soon."

Hormazd Sorabjee is the editor of Autocar India. Interview by Dominic Mills.


BBC Top Gear Live. The notion of being able to drive high-performance cars around the Silverstone circuit proved hugely popular in 1996, with 43,000 attendees rolling up for this event. But what they did mostly was queue - before being let loose on the circuit you had, of course, to be registered and insured. And it was all made even more irksome by the fact that the event took place in a heatwave, spiced up by a hot dry wind. When exhibitors got back to their own cars, they found them coated in a thick layer of fine dust - so Peter Osbourne decided to carpet the entire car-park overnight. Bravely, the event returned for a second year before the plug was finally pulled.


The proposition for monthly title The Box was beautifully simple - do for television what FourFourTwo had done for football and Q had done for music. It was thoroughly researched (though, sensibly, the idea of calling the magazine Potato, as in couch, was not pursued) and the proposition as a thinking person's magazine, intelligent without being erudite, was realised by a talented editorial team. True, it met its short-term launch target of 50,000, advertisers loved it and it received critical acclaim within the publishing business. But there was a lot going on in the broader television listings market in 1997 and The Box's positioning as a cult magazine not only confused readers but, crucially, also the news agency trade. It closed after 15 months.


Juliet Slot: "Why would a top-flight publishing house want to create customer magazines? The margins are low, you don't own the brands you create and ... the client wants you to put a banana with a penis ring on the cover.

"If the above is enough to put you off, unlucky. You have just missed out on setting up a company that within ten years will grow into a global business with a UK turnover alone of £21 million, working with brands ranging from Manchester United, to Sky Sports, from Jaguar to RBS, from the Design Council to ITV and Sony. And all that without a penny of group investment.

"The cover in question belonged to a title called Mob, for the UK's leading ring-tone provider, that won the APA's Launch of the Year gong in 2001. The margins? Well, in case any of our clients are reading this, they are of course incredibly low, but we work very hard.

"My predecessor Patrick Fuller, then the managing director of the consumer division, remembers: 'Before 1997, the mantra from the sixth floor of Hammersmith Towers was "why create magazines for clients under contract, where's the asset? We're just using our expertise to line their pockets." My response was, "precisely". I argued just this skill of creating valuable client-owned properties in a formalised setting creates an asset in its own right. My bluff was substantially called and the next thing I knew, I was sitting in an office with the publisher Andrew Taplin, the account manager Kate Law and Maggie, my PA. We were tossed the bone of a YHA magazine and an annual BTA guide, and told to get on with it.'

"These first clients were important, but it was a tiny bit of speculative work Andrew did for Raleigh International that proved to be the turning point. The client, Mark Bainbridge, soon to become the marketing director of the British Army and remembering our editorial talents and can-do attitude, invited us to help solve a problem - that of engaging young teenagers with an Army message in the face of increasing FE competition, declining unemployment, a lack of knowledge of the organisation and concerns over issues such as Deepcut (and later Iraq).

"Andrew, together with Simon Kanter and Paul Simpson, proposed a magazine solution. But not the Smash Hits-type teen magazines presented by competing agencies. Instead ARMY, which has since gone on to win more awards than any other customer magazine, was born. 'Mark completely agreed with our view that you talk to young teenagers as adults, and you represent the Army in a grown-up way,' Kanter, now the editorial director, recalls. 'We created a magazine based on the staples of the best in men's magazines of the time, great photography, sexy kit, aspirational icons (serving soldiers), witty writing and, above all, honesty.'

"That kind of honesty comes from living deeply in our markets, whether that's helping children find out about ecology with the YHA, or skydiving with the Army. 'I've been pushed out of a plane, hiked in the footsteps of the SAS and been shot at by artillery. If that's not client service, I don't know what is,' Andrew Taplin, now the deputy managing director, says.

"Rebranding was a great chance to think about what we do, what sets us apart and how we tell people about it, which is where the idea of the 'editorial agency' came from. We don't do content; content is what you fill buckets with; we craft editorial and have been doing so for more years than the ten our customer publishing operation has existed. We now also apply those same skills in areas including digital, DM and branding.

"Great editorial gains the trust of the readership and can influence how they think and behave. When this influence is in line with clients' objectives and is also measurable ... well, that's what those margins are for. And our clients agree, which is why we've printed 68 million magazines and generated 500 million web page impressions on their behalf so far this year.

"And while that banana may be long gone, the pioneering attitude and the ability to move an audience only gets stronger."

Juliet Slot is the managing director of Haymarket Network.

35. 2001 - 100-PLUS LIVE EVENTS A YEAR

Jane Macken: "I was in a hotel on Park Lane, quaffing Champagne with the great and good of the advertising industry, thinking this job wasn't half bad after all. It was the Campaign Press Awards 1989 and I had recently joined the sales team on Campaign magazine.

"Of course, the Campaign Press Awards had been going long before I joined the company, having launched some 15 years earlier. More awards followed with the Campaign Poster Awards and the PR Week Public Relations Awards in the 80s and the Management Today Best Factory Awards in 1992.

"By 1993, Haymarket had recruited the experienced creative events producer Matthew Davies. Over the next 14 years, he worked tirelessly with publishers to launch new events. Today, a team of nine headed up by the awards director, Helen Horton, runs 32 awards events in the UK.

"Since those early Campaign days, I had spent the next 12 years happily running magazines when an offer came I couldn't refuse: to set up Business Solutions, a division of the business group that would pull together all our multi-platform media (subscriptions, directories, web development, list rental and, of course, events) with a clear remit for growth. Fondly remembering my Champagne-fuelled awards nights, I accepted the job.

"The growth of Haymarket Events over the next five years was remarkable, with the advent of forums and the addition of a commercial conference operation.

"We had bought an event called the Direct Marketing Management Forum back in 1999, along with the purchase of Direct Response magazine. Realising the format of a networking event bringing buyers and sellers together was a recipe for success, we quickly set up a new team and rolled the same format out across the business. By 2006, the forums team, headed up by Cate MacCreadie, was running 16 forums a year.

"Next on the list were conferences. We'd had some success running conferences in the past, but lacked the right infrastructure for growth. The arrival of the conference director Elena Surace in late 2004 heralded a new era of research and cycle-based commercial conferences. Elena and her team quickly grew the number of conferences from just 12 in 2004 to 57 by 2007, improving speaker quality and delegate satisfaction rates across the board. And profits soared.

"Haymarket Events now runs more than 100 events a year, accounting for nearly 15 per cent of the UK business group turnover, and the successful templates for awards, conferences and forums are now being applied around the world.

"Now where's that Champagne ...?"

Jane Macken is the managing director of Haymarket Business Solutions.


William Pecover: "The day Lee Maniscalco arrived at our Manhattan office as the new chief executive of Haymarket Medical USA, the receptionist wouldn't let him in. 'We don't have a Medical chief executive,' she sniffed. When he got to his office and saw a broken desk buried under a pile of boxes, he phoned his wife and admitted he'd made a mistake: 'These guys won't be able to make the payroll!'

"The morning Lisa Kirk arrived at our Fifth Avenue office as the managing director of Haymarket Marketing USA, she couldn't get in either - there was no receptionist, and she had to post herself through an old-fashioned hatch window. 'I had just arrived from the London office where you took the infrastructure for granted,' she remembers. 'Now I realised I was part of the infrastructure. The only thing familiar was that the lifts didn't work.'

"Six months before, I'd been in London contemplating the dotcom implosion with gloom. Another media recession loomed. Another round of cost cuts. But history showed that America always emerged faster than the UK from such recessions and it still ran over 40 per cent of world media spend. 'Better to be a lucky general than a good one,' I thought, and volunteered to go and build Haymarket in the US. So, of course, while public spending kept the UK economy afloat, the media recession in America dug deep. Our US edition of Revolution had to be shuttered. Then came 9/11 and the recession turned into a rout. Our office was uninhabitable. The level of new drug approvals, on which our medical advertising was dependant, collapsed. The biggest medical publishing company in the US launched against MPR.

"And still we were lucky where it counted. The new senior management team of Lee, Lisa, and Mark Bugni, who had nurtured MPR for 15 years, was completed by the arrival of the exceptional finance director, Michael Kriak. We had an indefatigable manufacturing director in Louise Morrin, who got every issue out on time during the weeks after 9/11.

"And the stability and confidence of our private ownership enabled three key acquisitions in 2001: The Cortlandt Group (physician and nurse magazines, and medical education programs), CPS Communications (pharmaceutical marketing magazine and directory), and McKnight's (long-term care magazine). These gave the new company critical mass and genuine career opportunities.

"The redeployment of talented staff that would otherwise have been redundant at the closure of Revolution. Sales and editorial staff were retrained in the UK, assistants became educational programme managers, and central IT, HR, production and circulation departments could be built.

"The lease of more new office space than we needed at recession-hit rates that enabled us to consolidate our acquisitions and brands under one roof, start to grow a common Haymarket culture, and expand fast in the coming years.

"The result has been that revenues have trebled in the past five years, and each year the profits have doubled. But one thing hasn't changed. The lifts still don't work."

William Pecover is the chairman and chief executive of Haymarket Media Inc.


Rufus Olins: "Martha Lane Fox, Charles Dunstone and John Pluthero scrutinised the portraits of themselves. Frank Dobson even turned up for the opening as part of his campaign to become the mayor of London.

"The UK's business elite had gathered at the National Portrait Gallery for the launch of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, in association with Management Today. All of the sitters were under 40 and many were still in their twenties. It was a celebration of the new face of business for the new century - as well as the photographic tradition of Management Today, which was now represented at the NPG by Harry Borden, Polly Borland and Dudley Reed.

"From its launch in 1966, Management Today had prided itself on the quality of its photography - but the turn of the century was the first time its portraiture had moved off the pages of the magazine and on to the walls of one of the country's leading galleries.

"It had taken a year to get to this point. Dotti Irving of Colman Getty had facilitated a meeting between her two clients - MT and the NPG - and it soon became clear there was an opportunity. Anne Braybon, MT's art director, was enthusiastic. As the editor, I was too.

"Over lunch in the NPG's top-floor restaurant, Pim Baxter, from the gallery, was intrigued by the unusual proposal to put reigning business partners on the walls of the gallery. Business leaders shaped society just as much as the chefs and TV personalities that had found their way into the Gallery's Collection.

"Normally, entrepreneurs and industrialists were regarded as no more than potential funding - which raised the issue of how this unscheduled exhibition was to be financed.

"Luckily, Jan Hall, then at Spencer Stuart, was quick to see the opportunity. So the blue-chip headhunter became the third partner in the venture, providing the funding and helping to identify the sitters.

"MT and the NPG have collaborated in many ways since then. And although Dobson's mayoral campaign proved ill-fated, Ken Livingstone, the current mayor of London, turned up to open the next show."


Campaign Media Business, launched in 1999, was charged with a straightforward task: to take on Media Week, then owned by Quantum Publishing. While Campaign had traditionally seen the creative and account management side of ad agencies as its main areas of expertise, it already had a degree of traction against Media Week's readership - ad sales teams and media planners and buyers. This audience would respond, so the thinking went, to an injection of Haymarket quality, especially if delivered as a Campaign brand extension. It didn't. Readers were confused: did it mean Campaign no longer covered media (it didn't, but the respective positioning of both magazines was never clear)? The market remained partial to Media Week's rough and ready style and Quantum held its nerve through the dotcom crash and looming recession. Campaign Media Business closed in 2001, but Haymarket had the last laugh. It eventually bought Media Week.


Stovin Hayter: "'I wonder how much charities spend on recruitment?' It was a passing remark from Haymarket's editorial director, Dominic Mills.

"But having just returned somewhat bruised from Haymarket's attempt to launch Revolution in the US into the teeth of the dotcom crash, I was acutely conscious of being on the payroll but without a real job. Answering Dominic's question would, to be blunt, give me something to do.

"It turned out UK charities employed more than half-a-million people and spent a great deal indeed on recruitment. Yet they were shockingly ill-served by media. The only recruitment medium of any significance was Society Guardian. Its only rival, if you could call it that, was a fortnightly published out of a business park in Bermondsey, respected for its authority, but with few readers and fewer resources. That was Third Sector.

"In February 2002, the Haymarket board agreed it was an opportunity too good to let slip by. We would launch in June with Rufus Olins as the publishing director. Our quiet satisfaction at being on to a sure thing lasted all of 24 hours. We learned the next day that Perspective Publishing, the owner of the monthly Charity Times, was planning to launch a recruitment-based weekly. In mid-March.

"We could not allow Charity Week, as Perspective's new title was to be called, a clear field to become established. And so the guns were rolled out.

"Third Sector's owner was enticed to a meeting with Rufus and the chairman, Martin Durham, and presented with the unenviable choice of selling up or having Haymarket as a direct competitor. Within a week it was Haymarket's - probably the fastest acquisition the company has ever done.

"The editor, two reporters and a lot of boxes arrived in Hammersmith. Journalists and sales people found themselves wrenched from their jobs elsewhere in Haymarket to work on a title they had never heard of. The ad director was Rachael Stilwell, now the publishing director of Campaign. A redesign and dummy were produced, focus groups were held and the first issue was put together - all in less than three weeks.

"The first weekly issue of Third Sector was published on 13 March 2002. It is now read by 80,000 chief executives, trustees and managers in the voluntary sector. It is the market leader in charity recruitment. Charity Week is long since history, having closed within the year."

Stovin Hayter is the head of online content, Haymarket Professional.


Kevin Costello: "We'd been hunting for a new home in Teddington for a long time before the famous Teddington Studios site - once the home of Thames TV - at Teddington Lock came up. Finding one location that could replace our four previous buildings and comfortably house our 550 people was no small task.

"But when we saw the site beside the Thames at Teddington Lock and realised its potential, acquiring the TV Studios and associated office space was a 'no brainer'. After years of 'office door kicking' we couldn't believe our luck. It was a fitting location for the diverse and growing Consumer Media and Network divisions of the Group.

"The Studios are literally the other end of Teddington High Street from our original Teddington office. So there weren't any major relocation issues. The chance of redeveloping the 60s office buildings into a bespoke, state-of the art and environmentally sound modern complex was a huge challenge.

"As a project it was far bigger than anything any of us managed before. Simon Daukes (then the joint managing director in Teddington) had just redeveloped his London home so we reckoned he was the best equipped - if the hard hat fits, wear it!

"So Simon became the site foreman, project director, design consultant and colour scheme specialist overnight and, with Andy Erskine leading the project team, they swung into action.

"The refurbishment and build took just under two years. The first magazines moved in during the second week of December 2005. By Christmas, 150 people were working at 'the Studios'. To everyone's delight, the transfer was extraordinarily seamless.

"We all admired the IT and group facilities teams for planning and handling the move with consummate ease. People were being moved overnight and walking into the new building the next morning to find all their kit and IT equipment exactly where we said it would be - and up and running! It really was a logistical triumph. We even had a Christmas tree in reception.

"By the end of the first quarter in 2006, all the staff were in the building occupying 80,000 of the 100,000 square feet we have available.

"The response has been tremendous. The impact of the building and its facilities on the business has been amazing. The goodwill, energy levels and buzz around the Studios is palpable.

"Having the classical music CD archive and state-of-the-art hi-fi and home entertainment listening rooms all on site has made life much easier for the journalists involved. Proper magazine and photo archives are a boon, too, and having full-size photographic studios has transformed things for the car magazine guys. Good meeting rooms, break-out areas and showers have made our new location a modern multimedia environment fit to house our brands, and those of our clients.

"After living in the building for well over a year now, it really does feel like home."


Haymarket wasn't exactly alone when it came to flights of fancy in the late 90s. Even normally sober economic analysts were insisting that all the old rules would have to be rewritten as dotcom companies began to change hands for ludicrous sums. In such a frenzied atmosphere, it seemed a modest proposal to acquire Internet Business and launch Revolution in the US, Hong Kong and Australia to explore the mechanics of a new economy. After all, no-one ever lost money selling picks and shovels in a gold rush. But the dotcom crash of 2000 - and the "market correction" that followed - exposed even the best laid plans. Internet Business closed, Revolution USA lasted little more than a year, Hong Kong a few months, while Australia never got off the ground. Revolution survives and thrives as a monthly in the UK.


Jo Morrell: "Haymarket was from Mars, Eve magazine was from Venus.

"Quite what planet we are now both living on is up for debate. But there was a huge sigh in the Eve office when the sale of the magazine to Haymarket was announced. I, for one, was unsure if this was a good or a bad thing at that moment, and looking round the room there appeared to be mixed feelings. Comments ranged from 'Who are Haymarket?' and 'Do they have offices next door to Tiger Tiger?' to 'They publish car magazines!' and 'Yes, and the clothes show, but I haven't been since I was 14.'

"2005 wasn't really an ideal year for uprooting a growing brand in the women's magazine market; there were at least two major new launches backed by multimillion-pound budgets and competition was as fierce as ever.

"A move from our White City location, though, was something to look forward to and the fact that Hammersmith has both a Starbucks and a Pret was a major selling point. The local gym went to great lengths to offer the Eve team a special membership and for me it was just the usual fight over 'who gets the window seats?' and 'are there any parking spaces?' to mediate.

"The team's first meeting with real Haymarketeers was reminiscent of a school disco. An early evening party at No 5 Cavendish, Eve girls all excited at the prospect of free drinks and a whole bunch of men they'd never met before. Picture the scene ... men in suits and very shiny cufflinks on one side of the room clutching beers and BlackBerrys, and a gaggle of girls in after-work glamour and an impressive Marc Jacobs handbag collection on the other. Mars and Venus ... how will they ever reach an understanding?

"Two years on, it's crystal clear that Haymarket gave Eve a new commercial lease of life. As a brand we took our editorial integrity from our time at the BBC and this has always stood Eve in good stead in the marketplace. But a new level of rock-solid support in all our client dealings, financial backing for much-needed advertising and promotion, plus some global ambitions for the brand, gave everyone an ever-increasing confidence, and, from the fashion editor to the classified sales exec, the belief that if you put the effort in, anything is possible.

"A real success story, even if there is some truth in the rumour Eric Verdon-Roe thought he was buying Evo."

Jo Morrell is the publishing director of Eve.


Craig Smith: "Marketing's 2005 was a quiet year, relatively speaking. We had spent a good part of the previous two years researching and planning a major remodelling of the mag; it hit readers' desks on 21 April, 2004 and we then spent subsequent weeks and months worrying how Marketing Week would answer the challenge, and when.

"By the time the year turned, I was no longer having sleepless nights. There had been no substantive answer from the competition and it had gradually dawned on me that the main challenge was going to be the one we had set ourselves - namely near double the number of editorial pages to produce weekly and the switch to a Monday press day, not to mention the commercial challenge of maintaining our page yield with a smaller format magazine and a radically different recruitment ad sales offering.

"To this day I'm not sure why Marketing Week stood aside and let it happen, but we were able to go into 2005 with a vastly superior editorial product, a 24-hour advantage on news and jobs and a 25 per cent circulation lead. The battle was far from over but we knew we had achieved something momentous, and were keen to cement that achievement in the minds of readers and advertisers.

"By the time the PPA Awards for Editorial and Publishing Excellence came around, it wasn't so much a question of whether we would enter, but how often. We decided to enter six categories - every one that Marketing was eligible for - and were shortlisted in four.

"I would say we were confident, cocky even, although not so certain that the then publisher Julie Moore, designer Gene Cornelius and myself didn't work into the early hours over several nights putting together a professionally printed submission that was worthy of an award itself.

"On the night our tables at the Grosvenor House Hotel were shared withcolleagues from Campaign and GP, which were up against us in several categories - competitive conviviality, if you can have such a thing.

"The evening started well ... for GP. Their writer Dr Liam Farrell knocked our own Mark Ritson out in the very first category of the night - Columnist of the Year. After a blur of other categories, we were also toppled from Editor of the Year and Publisher of the Year. Things most definitely weren't going according to plan.

"It's a cliche but there really was a moment before the main chance when time slowed down. Julie and I were transfixed on each other - where else were we going to look? Halfway through the host's preamble on the winner we knew it was us, but stayed firmly in our seats until Marketing was called out. The journey to and from the stage with our award for Weekly Business and Professional Magazine of the Year seemed to take an eternity - but we arrived back euphoric, and not a little relieved, to be bringing this prize back to Haymarket for the very first time."

Craig Smith is the editor of Marketing.


Clare Newsome: "Last year, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision celebrated its own little slice of history: 30 years of the world's bestselling home entertainment magazine, and 25 years of its annual awards. Why the five-year difference? Perhaps the team at the time realised just how much work would go into judging the industry's most influential accolades.

"Of all Haymarket's buyer's guides, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision has the most direct effect on how its readers splash their cash. Whether it's a hi-fi, home cinema, TV or MP3, canny consumers wait to see our star ratings before they buy.

"They phone us from shops to double-check their decisions, e-mail us impatiently demanding verdicts on prospective purchases, and - most recently - roam the forums of whathifi.com, picking our brains and hunting down the hottest deals.

"And nothing's more eagerly awaited than those awards' results, offering the ultimate music and movie-lovers shopping list, just ahead of the Christmas spending frenzy.

"It's an influence with a statistical industry impact. The retail research specialist GfK measures spending trends across the consumer electronics industry, and can point to sales spikes that correlate to key Product of the Year winners.

"Anecdotal evidence is no less impressive. One speaker company said winning a What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision award had brought in £1 million of business; another manufacturer swore its staff lost their Christmas bonus because they hadn't grabbed a gong. We've been held liable for anything from product recalls to promotions; brand salvation to sackings.

"We issue no shortlist for the awards, and winners are kept strictly secret before the ceremony itself: little wonder it's a tad more intense than your average industry event. Retailers wait to make a beeline for winning manufacturers, with distribution deals being done on the spot, followed by hasty calls to ramp-up production.

"A major distributor held its strategic conference the day after the 2006 ceremony: it had two different marketing-plan presentations ready, depending on the awards its brands did or didn't win. Other awards evenings have seen raised voices, threatened-bordering-on-actual violence towards the magazine's staff and the sad demise of a toilet door, attacked by one seriously angry, trophy-free marketing manager.

"More intelligent tactics have been deployed, too. Last year, a product lost out on a Group Test victory just before our awards judging began, for being a little overpriced - we said in the magazine it would be a clear winner at £300 less. Cue a £300 price cut, a product reappraisal and an award win.

"But, to steal from Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility. Our awards - as with all our verdicts - are decided after exhaustive comparative testing in our six reviewing rooms, part of a state-of-the-art testing and photographic facility, purpose-built into Haymarket's Teddington Studios site. No single-tester/single-product reviews; no prior judgments; no second-guessing. And no influence from our advertisers - editorial independence is another benefit we enjoy.

"I'm writing this on the first deadline day for 2007 awards products to arrive. Manufacturers are dropping off their brand-new products as carefully and nervously as if they were children on their first day of school. Which ones will graduate with honours? You'll find out in October."

Clare Newsome is the editor of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision.


Martin Durham: "The purchase of PrintingWorld from CMP marked a wonderful climax to a head-to-head battle between two weekly titles. How else can you describe a fight in which the number-two title takes on the market leader, overtakes it, and then buys it. It doesn't happen very often. Now we have a dominant position across the printing market.

"About ten years before, when PrintWeek transferred from Teddington to the business group in Hammersmith, PrintingWorld was a long way ahead in every respect - heritage, reputation, circulation, market share, pagination.

"We did our research and put together a publishing strategy to start in 1997 - circulation profile, editorial package and sales pitch - in which we got everything right and which PrintingWorld couldn't compete with. It's very rare that you get all three aligned so successfully.

"When you factor in the extra circulation and editorial pagination we'd actually earmarked a very significant investment, but the market reaction to what we did was so quick and so strong that the investment paid off far quicker than we thought it might. PrintingWorld relaunched and changed format four times in those nine years before we bought it - a sure sign we were winning.

"One of the strongest assets we had turned out to be the people, editorially and on the publishing side. Many of them are still here, including Lisa Kirk, the then-publisher who's now in New York. Now PrintWeek is the hub of a really significant group including Packaging News, an online portal, and PressXchange.com, a global online community for buyers and sellers of used equipment. Plus there are the global editions of PrintWeek in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

"All up, there are 75 people working in the print group in London. Not bad for a title that was once considered an orphan child. And PrintingWorld? We've reinvented it as an upmarket monthly about the business of printing and it's doing really well."


Ivor Falvey: "MSN was like any other important advertiser in 2006. They had a lot to talk about, money to spend and - although happy with the work they did in print - a real desire to do something new and 'out of the box'.

"Indeed, 'you're out of your box' was the response I expected to get when I went to MediaWeek's publisher, Rachael Stillwell, with the idea of a regular series of video web chats in which media figures are interviewed in a Parkie-style chatshow environment.

"In contrast, 'put me on the box' was the response of MediaWeek's fame-hungry editor Philip Smith, doing his best Jeremy Paxman impersonation when asked about hosting the show.

"Rachael was excited by the idea from the start. With the rise in broadband access, the demand for something different from MediaWeek's readers and the thirst we had to do something new, it all made sense.

"We got off to a great start when Channel 4's chief executive, Andy Duncan, agreed to be the first guest in the mediaweek.tv hotseat. And then we scored a great coup by convincing Sir Martin Sorrell to take part.

"The most surprising thing about the concept is that it keeps going. Eight months after his spot, MediaWeek columnist Jonathan Durden's entry into the Big Brother house meant thousands of people were still watching his performance on mediaweek.tv.

"As we move from B2B 'publishing' to B2B 'broadcasting', Haymarket Brand Media wants to lead the way in this transition. Mediaweek.tv is just the beginning of this new era."

Ivor Falvey is the commercial director of Media Week.


Philip Smith: "Web 2.0. User-generated content. Weblogs. Social networking ... If there is a new media buzzword or three-letter acronym that hit the headlines in recent years, then the chances are that the February 2007 relaunch of Brand Republic has brought it to life for both marketing and media professionals.

"Since its launch in 2001, Brand Republic - as the online home of Campaign and Marketing - developed a strong reputation for its news bulletins and job opportunities. So much so that both Sir Martin Sorrell and IPC's Sylvia Auton have gone on record saying how much they like its news - whether they are looking at its many job opportunities is less well documented.

"Media sage Simon Marquis once told a PPA conference of publishers that they weren't doing their job properly if they didn't start the day by looking at the site.

"So far, so good, but there is always more to do. The relaunch expanded and built upon these successes to bring the web portal and its 215,000 users alive as a true online community.

"This is a big step for any business-to-business publisher, let alone Haymarket, as seemingly every consumer - from teens to old school pals - have embraced web phenomena like MySpace and, latterly, Facebook, but very few business audiences have.

"From simply informing, educating and entertaining its users, Brand Republic now connects them together.

"Members of the Republic can swap anecdotes, offer advice and their - often trenchant - views on its forums, add their own comments to news stories and articles on the site, and interact with more than 28 authorised - not to mention controversial, expert and sometimes whimsical - Brand Republic bloggers, including George Parker, Rory Sutherland, Mrs Belmot and Gordon MacMillan.

"It is not just about user-generated content, as all of the key Haymarket advertising, marketing and media titles - from Campaign and Marketing to MediaWeek and Revolution - have been given their own sites within the portal and they - as in print - control all they publish online.

"So the story of the new Brand Republic is as much about Haymarket's own internal community as it is about its users. Because without input from so many different parts of the business, it wouldn't be what it is.

"This involves internal competition - as journalists compete to get their own stories out first online - as much as it demands co-operation. There is a lot of that as well - seemingly every title had a view on Labour's tenth anniversary in power and they made it known on Brand Republic's blogs, forums and opinion pages.

"From the personalised MyBR RSS page - built by Haymarket's digital consumer team - to the core of the new site, which was built by Haymarket Business Interactive, to the launch of Brand Republic Asia, which is powered by the Media magazine team in Hong Kong, the site's success is built on many different parts of the business."

Philip Smith is the head of content for Brand Republic.


In 1987 British horse-racing was being transfused by oil wealth from the Middle East, which promised to transform the elite sires and brood mare market. So Haymarket launched Racing and Breeding Update International, a glossy weekly covering top global thoroughbred races, focusing on the bloodlines that winners represented and the breeding potential they held out. Punishing deadlines were met through superhuman efforts. The bloodstock world was astounded, but new advertisers remained scarce. Sheikhs and western millionaire investors in the turf proved too rarified a target to sustain a weekly. The promised market never materialised. Soon the Update merged with a monthly that Haymarket acquired, Pacemaker, but it could not beat the odds. It was finally put out to grass, sold in 2003 to the specialist sports publisher Dunwoody Sports Marketing, who found its form more acceptable.


James Inverne: "Coming to Gramophone from Time magazine, I thought that the atmosphere would be entirely different. News publications pride themselves on their ability to ferret out the truth, and are peopled by reporters for whom the Watergate inquisitors Woodward and Bernstein are gods. A classical music magazine seemed an altogether more sedate prospect on the detective front - some recording studio scoops, the odd heads-up on a label acquisition, perhaps. Little did I know.

"It was late one evening when the final piece of proof came through that we needed to publish our expose of the Joyce Hatto fraud. The story was jaw-dropping in its audacity and its sheer unexpectedness, and suddenly Watergate didn't seem so very far away. Okay, so a country wouldn't be rocked by this, but the classical music world certainly was.

"This was, as readers may know, the case of the little old lady and talented pianist who - having retired from public performance due to a cruel cancer - seemingly poured her inspiration into the studio. Scores of magnificent discs emerged, courtesy of her producer-husband William Barrington-Coupe, and by the time of her death last year she had been hailed in Gramophone and elsewhere as the greatest pianist nobody had ever heard of.

"When one of our critics, playing a Hatto disc through his computer media player, saw the digital display stating that this was another pianist - and then had the same happen with a second Hatto disc - we had our first real clue that something was amiss. We commissioned experts in three countries to look into this, and after extensive sound wave and other checks revealed that entire Hatto discs were ripped from other recordings with the sound usually cleverly disguised, we ran with the story.

"In the fast-paced internet age, we couldn't afford to wait for the next issue to hit the streets. The story was broken on our website and, fascinatingly, within hours traffic had increased by 300 per cent. It went up from there.

"The world's media couldn't get enough of the story. They loved the contrast between the polite-seeming world of classical music and the dastardly fraud perpetrated by Barrington-Coupe and, I increasingly believe, Hatto herself. When we then broke the news of a confession letter he had written to a label head, an old-fashioned media storm erupted.

"Reporters for all media flew in from all over the world, the New York Times ran (at last count) five major articles on the subject and it was on the front page of the International Herald Tribune. The BBC's flagship radio arts programme reported it three times and then created an hour-long documentary special.

"The most famous pianist nobody had heard of had become the infamous pianist we all knew about. The potential risks for Gramophone in breaking the story were enormous - being wrong didn't bear thinking about. But I believe we were right to expose the truth. Fascinatingly, in so doing, we also revealed to ourselves the news power of the web. And, of course, that classical music isn't as sedate as people may think."

James Inverne is the editor of Gramophone.


In a publisher that produces close to one million pages of content a year, the odd error gets through from time to time and our 50th entry is dedicated to these (in)glorious moments. Sometimes, they're the result of working under pressure, sometimes a case of not checking, and sometimes a pure lapse of taste and judgment - and that's before we even get to the legals, about which the less said the better.

These are the kinds of mistakes that, when seen (usually once the magazine has been printed), produce a collective moan of despair, a desperate search for someone to blame, and cause the editor to hide under their desk.

At their lowest level, they're the upside-down sections, wrong-way round and mis-captioned pictures, or typos which, hopefully, are too small to miss.

But not always: FinanceAsia christened the famous Swiss bank UBS as USB. Campaign changed the name of the world's biggest advertising conglomerate from Omnicom to Omnicon and rechristened a senior advertising executive Alison Toad (real name Hoad). As the chastened writer explained plaintively: "The H key is very close to the T key."

The German printing title Druck und Medien liked one particular feature so much it ran it twice in the same issue, but with different headlines and different pictures.

The lazy use of automated spellcheck systems causes problems, such as when PRWeek confused "Marshall Law" with "Martial Law", and Marketing Direct tried to "illicit" a response from its readers when it really wanted to "elicit" one. But then Autosport could have done with some spellchecking when it ran a coverline with the words "Monaco Mahem".

And there's the classic case of the Marketing awards supplement, inadvertently sent out before the ceremony. Not surprisingly attendance on the night was sparse.

Worse, the error was compounded when staff were told to explain that it was planned that way. We looked doubly foolish.

Or how about the time, in a spirit of moral rectitude and no doubt proud of its sneering line "The Gits behind the Tits", that Marketing criticised Glevum Windows for its use of an unknown Swindon glamour model called Melinda Messenger. The magazine then spent the rest of the year pretending that it had something to do with her subsequent rise to "page 3" fame.

Some mistakes are of the visual kind. Gramophone's feature on mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker was accompanied by an immaculately retouched photo on the front cover. The only problem was the art editor forgot to do the same inside so she appeared to have aged considerably in a few pages. Cue one furious diva.

There's always bad timing too. An issue of Camera Weekly featured the image of a rocket soaring skywards ... but hit the newstands the very day that the space shuttle Challenger exploded. It was, needless to say, withdrawn immediately.

And then there's the old favourite, the art editor's instruction to the subs on where to put the headline, often a disaster waiting to happen. "Fucking great heading goes here" screamed a copy of What Hi-Fi?.

One Autocar sub-editor (now gone on to achieve fame and fortune as a television presenter) had a little bit of fun with an acrostic while editing a road test supplement. If you read every drop capital intro in order, it spelt out: "So you think it's really good yeah. You should try making the bloody thing up. It's a real pain in the arse." He left shortly after.

Pride of place, however, goes to the headline in HR magazine about the difficulties of managing creative individuals. For some reason, this serious issue in a serious business magazine chose to focus on the artist Salvador Dali, under the headline: "Dali - the great masturbator."

Asked later at what point he realised he might have made a mistake, the editor - who has asked to remain anonymous - replied: "When I picked up the phone to hear the editorial director shouting 'You stupid wanker'."

Compiled by Dominic Mills.