IPC reveals plan for 12-strong centralised group sales unit

In response to agency complaints about the complexity of group dealing, IPC is investing pounds 750,000 in creating a central sales unit.

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

within IPC.

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.


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