MPA chairman Nick Chan: Time to remind media planners of the power of magazines

Magazine Publishers of Australia’s first goal will be reminding the industry of the power of the medium, chairman Nick Chan told Mumbrella after ACP Magazines rejoined the industry body.

Chan, who is also CEO of Pacific Magazines, said that media agency planners from the “Facebook and Google generation” need to be reminded of the strength of the medium.

He said: “There a new layer of marketing people at client level and agency level and we need to give them the magazines message a lot louder.”

One issue, he said, was agencies receiving free magazines sometimes failed to appreciate the commitment a consumer makes to the product when they walk into a newsagent.

He said: “They don’t understand the commitment that’s made by people who hand over dollars.”

And Chan also took issue with complaints made by media agencies over lack of accountability in magazines on questions such as issue-specific reporting. He pointed out that they had been holding online media to lower  standards. He said: “They talk about accountability, then find out about autorefresh three years later.”

Chan said that the decision by ACP to rejoin  the MPA – which came just hours after Phil Scott was named as ACP’s MD – signalled “we’ve got bigger fights to fight than just within magazines.”

Chan also held out hope for a return of the MPA’s awards, which was one of the big nights in the magazine industry calendar. He said: “We will discuss it.” A key issue had been the voting system which had become “too convoluted”. He added: “We would need to find a different mechanism.”

The return of ACP to the table also opens the way for conversations about the MPA working with the wider magazine community. While the MPA represents the large publishers, Publishers Australia – which celebrates its annual awards tomorrow – represents the smaller and B2B players. At present the two organisations do not have any formal links.


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