John Brown defeats four to publish Sky's customer magazine

LONDON - John Brown Citrus has scooped the year's most heavily contested magazine publishing contract after beating four shortlisted agencies in a pitch for Sky's customer title.

Redwood, the incumbent on the £1m account for the past seven years, lost out in the final round of the review along with The National Magazine Company, Forward and Haymarket, which publishes Campaign.

The review was called in March after the expiry of Redwood's contract with BSkyB, which has run since the launch of Sky Customer Magazine, initially as a listings title, in 1994. BSkyB originally requested proposals from eight publishers, including IPC, Publicis-Blueprint and River Publishing.

Sky Customer Magazine is the UK's largest customer title with a circulation of more than 5m and a readership of 6.4m, which grew by more than 50% in the July to December period. In addition to the magazine, John Brown Citrus' appointment will extend to publishing online content and other customer communications.

"After a long and positive association with Redwood, Sky believes this is the time for a new partner to help take Sky Customer Magazine into a new phase of development," BSkyB's customer marketing director, Ian Shepherd, said.

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