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Fans let down by collapse of contract publisher

by on 3 May, 2011

The fans of  Premier League clubs have been badly let down by the collapse of one of the country’s largest match-day contract magazine publishers.

 Cre8 Publishing, a contract publisher, was put into liquidation this month.  It may owe millions to the clubs for whom it published their match-day magazines.  These include Arsenal, Celtic and Tottenham.

Much more important, many fans paid in advance for these magazines and are now left short.

Some of the Premier League clubs may need the money Cre8 owes them.  Much more important is how the fans have been drawn into this.

Many fans have bought a subscription to what they probably think is their club’s magazine in advance.  They have paid their money on the assumption that this was a publication by their club.

Few will have looked at who published what they must have thought was their club’s magazine.  Few would have been concerned when they paid the subscription.  But now they have little chance of getting their money back.  And to get the next match-day magazine they may have to pay again.

Serious point: credibility

There is a serious point here, beyond the tears of the fans.  It is the credibility of the relationship between contract magazine readers on the one hand and the publishers and the companies for whom they publish.  Contract magazines are to enhance the reputation of the client: yet here the publisher goes belly up and the client clubs are left short.

At the very least the innocent fans in this minor tragedy should have their subs ring fenced in the accounts.  Then the fans could get back the money they have paid when they don’t get their magazines.  This secures some of the credibility of the clubs.

Both the Association of Publishing Agents and the clubs should think seriously about this requirement.  Both as the clubs seek another publishers and the APA tries to recover the prestige of contract publishing in such a high profile area.

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2 Comments
  1. Whilst we agree with much of the sentiment of this article we would like to go on the record to say that Cre8 Publishing is not and never has been a member of the APA. We represent over 90 per cent of the customer publishing industry, all of whom have to adhere to our stringent code of practice.

    Our members include organisations that create content from magazines and ezines through to microsites, apps and videos on behalf of some of the most well known and respected global brands and organisations.

    What differentiates our members and Cre8 Publishing is the business model. Our members deliver high quality, engaging, informative and entertaining content in order to give something back to their clients’ customers –in other words a value add. Whilst a very small percentage charge a cover price or include third party advertising to off-set a small amount of the cost of production, we and our members advocate the fee-based model .

    As a result we have spent the last decade educating clients that customer loyalty is not and cannot be used as a revenue driver. Self funded content does not work. Such a model goes against the very objectives that a branded content initiative is set to achieve. Marketing directors would never expect a TV ad to generate a profit or fund itself and nor should branded content.
    Customer publishing is known as the 25 minute medium; a level of customer engagement that is unrivalled, showing the value customers place on branded content. This achievement has to be recognised in a robust and responsible commercial manner.

    And brands such as Boden, Fortnum and Mason, Lloyds Pharmacy and First Great Western agree –all of which have recently invested in a fee-based branded content strategy with an APA affiliated agency.

    As with any industry there are operators that do not adhere to best practice, often out to make a fast buck. Cre8 Publishing has not only let down the end customers and their clients, but also the agencies that have strived to make editorialised content the powerful medium it is today.

    APA exists to both support and champion the industry and as such runs the award winning APA ASK, a free consultancy for clients. If any of the affected organisations would like advice following the administration of Cre8 Publishing, please contact me – Julia Hutchison on 020 7400 7500 or julia.hutchison@apa.co.uk

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  1. Fans let down by collapse of contract publisher « The ContentETC Blog - - Money On Demand

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