Magazines industry body MPA to focus on increasing magazine sales at newsagencies

Mary Ann Azer

“The promotions are in line with target audience needs,” says Mary Ann Azer

Magazine publishers are attempting to drive sales by enticing consumers with giveaways of cars, kitchen appliances and holidays when they purchase a magazine in a newsagency as part of a campaign run by industry body Magazine Publishers of Australia.

The campaign is part of the MPA’s effort to better support newsagents with the campaign looking to increase newsagency sales for weekly magazines and homes and food magazines.

Mary Ann Azer, MPA executive director, told Mumbrella the campaign aims to “boost sales in the newsagency channel and show support for this important channel to magazines”.

The promotion, which launches next month, will see see three national newsagent-exclusive promotions launch over three months focusing on weekly, home and food titles. 
“The promotions are in line with target audience needs, like ‘win a car’ competitions for the weeklies, ‘win kitchen appliances’ for the Home titles and food safaris for the food titles,” Azer explained.

“The mechanics is, if you buy two or more magazines you get 10 entries so it is more appealing to buy more than one magazine. The promotion utilises proven results from past promotions across the three publishers as we are able to identify what has worked in the past.”

The campaign is backed by NewsLifeMedia, Pacific Magazines and Bauer Media.


“No use fighting for share in a diminishing market,” says Peter Zavecz

Peter Zavecz, MPA chairman and CEO of Pacific Magazines, told Mumbrella: “To get three pretty competitive publishers together to agree on supporting a very important channel is a nice accomplishment.

“The whole concept was to increase sales and to support the channels. Instead of having individual promotions the whole objective was to combine our resources over three consecutive months and make a concerted effort to create a lot of noise, have a really good displays, have really targeted promotions and try to increase footfall into newsagents to purchase magazines and other products as well.

“There’s a general feeling across all the publishers that there’s no use fighting for share in a diminishing market, it’s more important to support the newsagents and excite consumers again about magazines.

“Doing it individually is required for the big brands but at times it makes sense to get together and market the category.”

The campaign follows comments made by NewsLifeMedia CEO Nicole Sheffield urging newsagents to be more critical about the range they stock and emulate the way that supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths operate.

Speaking at October’s Publish conference, Sheffield said: “Every time there is a range review [at a supermarket] it’s got nothing to do with anything emotional, social, digital; it’s what that pocket is yielding me, and if it’s not doing it, you’re off the range”.


NewsLifeMedia CEO Nicole Sheffield

“Newsagents are under enormous pressure. There’s a lot less of them. Running a newsagency today is a very difficult, challenging business. You’ve got print products that are in decline and you’re heavily reliant on Lotto.

“People used to go [to newsagents] for a lot of different reasons and we have to be a reason to make them a destination again,” said Sheffield.

In response to her comments, newsagent Mark Fletcher penned an opinion piece for Mumbrella in which he argued the real problem lay with publishers’ love affair with supermarkets.

He wrote: “If Australia wants a profitable magazine publishing channel it needs a profitable route to market [and] newsagents are the best opportunity; plenty of them want to be the magazine specialist – a destination for the magazine shopper – but the numbers do not work.

“The numbers could work if publishers ignored supermarkets and helped direct more magazine traffic to newsagencies.”

When asked if the campaign was in response to concerns from newsagents, Zavecs said “some newsagents have been very vocal”.

“We’re mindful of the fact that it’s a very challenging environment for them – it’s not just magazines, it’s newspapers and their traditional revenue areas are challenged. It’s something that’s been six to eight months in the planning.”

Zavecz said the publishers are focused on pushing magazines as a category and supporting newsagents.

“It’s the first time we’ve gotten together as a group to promote to the consumer and it should be the start of greater cooperation throughout the group to promote this channel,” he said.

“I’m sure we’re going to get a positive result out of this and that will just encourage us to promote the category. This is just the beginning of a long process. There’s no one silver bullet. Magazines are still valued by consumers and we’ve got to keep reminding them that they are great value.”

The campaign will see 17 magazine titles come together, including: Woman’s Day, New Idea, That’s Life, Take 5, Who, NW, Better Homes and Gardens, House and Garden, Home Beautiful, Real Living, Vogue Living, InsideOut, Australian Women’s Weekly, delicious., donna hay, Australian Gourmet Traveller and

Azer said any newsagent “can opt in” to the promotion.

“The feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive, so we are very excited as this is the first time we have the three publishers working together,” she said.

Miranda Ward


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