In response to agency complaints about the complexity of group
dealing, IPC is investing pounds 750,000 in creating a central sales
The team of 12, headed by central sales director Karl Marsden, will have
authority for 11 accounts, which include Procter & Gamble, Unilever,
Kellogg’s and Boots.
Responsibility for the revenue budgets for these accounts will also rest
with the central sales unit.
It will be able to offer clients 126 options for advertising including
sponsorship, advertorials and database marketing across the 97 IPC
magazines in addition to the IPC Electric brands.
IPC is the last of the big magazine publishers to set up a group dealing
Marsden claimed the unit would have total autonomy within IPC and hoped
that it would be able to trade confidential information with buyers to
enable ’transparent’ dealing and to build open relationships.
MediaVest’s press director Marc Bedwell broadly welcomed the initiative
but cautioned: ’I trust transparency means that I am going to get the
best deal possible. But it’s long overdue. Despite launching loads of
new titles, magazines have not been increasing their share of the media
cake. Yet look at how radio has grown.’
On a positive note, he added: ’It will hopefully free up resources on
the title teams to give us more information about their magazines, which
is something we would encourage.’
Responding to charges that IPC has been slow to launch the unit, Marsden
said: ’The National Magazine Company was certainly first but we are
offering centralised buying opportunities on an unrivalled scale.’
He added: ’As for Emap, the recent announcements are big on story and
short on substance and were rushed out because they heard what we were
Marsden, formerly Southbank group sales manager, will report to IPC
Connect ad director Simon Hills who previously oversaw all group deals
Hills said: ’We expect the central sales unit to have a huge impact and
will invest more in that area if required.’
Marsden will be supported by two central sales managers, Niall Clarkson
and Annmaria Brash. Clarkson was previously a group head at Connect.
Brash, twice voted IPC salesperson of the year, comes from the young
women’s group and has spent the last year working on the group
Six account managers and three ad marketing staff are being
A communications strategy is being developed and will include a direct
mailshot to the appropriate agencies and account managers.