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Motor Sport magazine - is it as good as it could be?


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#151 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 17:08

Damien has joined a PR firm called Influence Associates, who have worked with - among others - Haymarket, Autoweek, Top Gear and Goodwood. I guess he was probably headhunted for his previous experience at Autosport and with the recent sale of that and various other bits of Haymarket - including the exhibitions side, for which they already act - I can see there could be a lot of opportunities for them to grow ...
 
There's probably a lot more money in PR than magazine editing too!


Thanks. Best of luck to both Smith and Trott.

Charlieman.....I don't quite understand your final comment. Am I missing something?

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#152 kayemod

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 17:42

Don't suppose he'll see this, but I for one would like to thank Damien for all he did at Motor Sport. A job well done by a genuine enthusiast



#153 Charlieman

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 17:46

Stuart Dyble worked for Ford as a publicist.

 

In his biog, he doesn't mention how he screwed up the Stewart F1 team.



#154 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 19:08

Don't suppose he'll see this, but I for one would like to thank Damien for all he did at Motor Sport. A job well done by a genuine enthusiast


I agree. I think the magazine improved a lot under his stewardship. I hope the new editor will resist the temptation to make his "mark" and simply continue to guide and refine the product.

Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 16 October 2016 - 19:10.


#155 Charlieman

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 19:19

Slow down a bit.

 

I wan't the new editor to have a chance.



#156 elansprint72

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 18:51

Way too much Frankel for me and I have no interest in eff wun or watches. I've cancelled my subscription, yet again. I'd rather spend my money buying editions from the 50s and early 60s (I first subscribed in 1965) from e-bay. Much more entertaining.



#157 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 04:12

Way too much Frankel for me and I have no interest in eff wun or watches. I've cancelled my subscription, yet again. I'd rather spend my money buying editions from the 50s and early 60s (I first subscribed in 1965) from e-bay. Much more entertaining.


One of the things I've suggested is that MS occasionally reprint reports of epic races from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I know they're available in the on line archive, but it's always nice to see them on the printed page.

#158 john aston

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 06:36

I am not interested in watches either but they occupy a tiny amount of the magazine , far less than some of the unreadable stuff which it had back in the day .(Cars in books....snore). F1- I like the coverage - I don't follow it with the assiduity I used to but I like NSR's reflections and Mark Hughes' insights . Re Frankel- whilst I sometimes feel he is chairman of the Andrew Frankel fan club he writes well enough and isn't afraid to kick some sacred cows.

 

What I would like to see is more coverage of Club level racing /speed events - both ancient and modern  - and business as usual at Lunch With , which shouldn't be a line shorter either.

 

Re Nick  Trott let's see ; I went off EVO when it became obsessed with track performance of road cars but it has had some good writers- the wonderful Russell Bulgin before his sad death and both Chris Harris and Richard  Meaden write well and drive superbly, as anybody who has seen them in Lotus Cortinas , T70s etc can attest   



#159 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 07:24

One of the things I've suggested is that MS occasionally reprint reports of epic races from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I know they're available in the on line archive, but it's always nice to see them on the printed page.

One of the things that caused me to stop getting MS was that they reprinted Jenks' Mille Miglia article a couple of times as part of anniversary celebrations - I had the original of course so wanted new stuff for my 1990s money



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#160 nicanary

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 08:13

One of the things that caused me to stop getting MS was that they reprinted Jenks' Mille Miglia article a couple of times as part of anniversary celebrations - I had the original of course so wanted new stuff for my 1990s money

To be fair, I think it's good for any new readers (especially the younger ones) to get a chance to see this magnificent piece for themselves. I do get your point. though.

 

I recently purchased off the internet a bound edition of the 1955 volume for 99p. Of course, what a shock, the June issue was missing........It's interesting, however, to read some of DSJ's other reports and Continental Notes - fascinating and involving, you really don't want it to stop.



#161 RA Historian

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 14:01

I am not interested in watches either but they occupy a tiny amount of the magazine , far less than some of the unreadable stuff which it had back in the day .(Cars in books....snore). F1- I like the coverage - I don't follow it with the assiduity I used to but I like NSR's reflections and Mark Hughes' insights . Re Frankel- whilst I sometimes feel he is chairman of the Andrew Frankel fan club he writes well enough and isn't afraid to kick some sacred cows.

 

What I would like to see is more coverage of Club level racing /speed events - both ancient and modern  - and business as usual at Lunch With , which shouldn't be a line shorter either.

Indeed.  We see repeated complaints here about the watch ads, but I must point out that those watch ads help keep the cost of the mag down. Simple economics. So just skip over them and remember that they actually benefit you. As far as the F-1  coverage is concerned, I like it because it is a short synopsis of the action that I saw on TV and it explains some of the happenings that I saw but maybe did not completely grasp at the time. Just the right length, as opposed to Autosport which has one yelling "ENOUGH!" after the 18th page or so.

 

As far as the club events are concerned, I would not want to see that, but that is because I am on the other side of the pond where such things have no interest. But I can understand that our friends in the UK would like it.

 

Tom



#162 BRG

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 14:14

Indeed.  We see repeated complaints here about the watch ads, but I must point out that those watch ads help keep the cost of the mag down. 

Of course this is true, but I did get the hump a few years back when there was a 20 page or so supplement about watches.  I wouldn't mind so much if they weren't nearly all in such dreadfully bad taste!  I took a craft knife to that edition of MS and removed the offending pages!

 

I think MS does a fair job of balancing old and current motorsport issues, with guys like Simon Arron and Gordon Cruickshank highlighting some of the less well known bits of the sport in the UK, and the ever fascinating Doug Nye column with its wanderings down often obscure avenues.  It provides me with the mix that I want, and although I am not in the market for the cars Frankel tests, I find his opinions interesting.  Not many road testers have the nerve to tell the big manufacturers the truth, the way he does!



#163 David Birchall

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 22:13

Every Saturday for the past 25+ years I have had lunch with a group of classic/vintage car owning friends.  Watches are a point of interest for about 50% of them I would say.  The watch doesn't have to be expensive but it does have to be interesting and ideally bought at a low price!

Watches are mechanical, intricate, often beautifully made-what is the problem with advertising them in a car lovers magazine--reverse snobbery?



#164 chunder27

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 06:56

Let's be honest, these companies are not stupid. Companies like Breitling do plenty of market research and are clearly very aware of the type of person that reads the magazine

 

And it would seem that some of that customer group are men of a certain age with a lot of expendable income who like looking at cars, possibly owning one, have an eye for chintzy watches (that are vastly overpriced and simply look nice, while performing a function any normal watch does just as well), own a house in Chipping Norton more than likely and used to watch a lot of racing in the past but probably either compete or chin about it with mates now.

 

You don't see many adverts in there for supermarkets, washing powder, razors do you. You will see aftershave at times, high end clothing, boats, hotels in nice places.  They get their data from the publishers as to who buys it, reads it and subscribes, that then generate an advertising portfolio aimed at that person. It is one of the reasons I don't buy the thing, as it is aimed at, let's be honest, rich toffs and snob wannabes!.  Sorry.



#165 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:41

But if you enjoy the content wouldn't you read it regardless of for whom it's intended? When I pick up a magazine, a book, see a movie, peruse a menu, buy a car, shop for clothing or a pair of shoes, it never occurs to me to consider, "Hmmmmm.......I wonder what kind of people they think will buy this, and do I want to be associated with that group?" I simply think about whether or not it suits my needs, is pleasing to me, and is reasonable value.

#166 bill p

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:45

But if you enjoy the content wouldn't you read it regardless of for whom it's intended? When I pick up a magazine, a book, see a movie, peruse a menu, buy a car, shop for clothing or a pair of shoes, it never occurs to me to consider, "Hmmmmm.......I wonder what kind of people they think will buy this, and do I want to be associated with that group?" I simply think about whether or not it suits my needs, is pleasing to me, and is reasonable value.

Agreed, Jack

chunder27, I don't consider myself to be a rich toff or a snob wannabe, just someone who enjoys reading a quality magazine.....

Edited by bill p, 19 October 2016 - 12:47.


#167 RogerFrench

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 13:55

I'm with Jack and Bill. Moreover, living in USA it's nice to have an essentially British publication.

#168 Charlieman

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 15:22

And it would seem that some of that customer group are men of a certain age with a lot of expendable income who like looking at cars, possibly owning one, have an eye for chintzy watches (that are vastly overpriced and simply look nice, while performing a function any normal watch does just as well), own a house in Chipping Norton more than likely and used to watch a lot of racing in the past but probably either compete or chin about it with mates now.

I think you have to go back a lot of years before you find that Motor Sport had a different target audience. Rod Leach was selling Cobras to uncommentables when I was a chorister. Some of the Bentley people profess that they have been around longer than Bentley.

 

In the 1970s, a bunch of Irish lads worked out that they could work in Australian mines for nine months, earning enough money to pay for a FF1600 season and chance of glory. A few did well. The impecunious son of an F1 world champion raced bikes at club events and a promoter put him in single seaters, where he did well. Two pushy dads, in Germany and England, looked after working class sons in Karts and we know what happened.

 

I don't like the idea of pushy dads or mums in any sport; I prefer that lads or lasses get involved in the sport, as a gofer or driver, because it's what they want to do. Sadly, many people won't try for a motor sport career -- in any role -- because they feel their face won't fit. 



#169 BRG

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 17:30

Every Saturday for the past 25+ years I have had lunch with a group of classic/vintage car owning friends.  Watches are a point of interest for about 50% of them I would say.  The watch doesn't have to be expensive but it does have to be interesting and ideally bought at a low price!

Watches are mechanical, intricate, often beautifully made-what is the problem with advertising them in a car lovers magazine--reverse snobbery?

That's interesting, because I have a group of friends that I have known for years and we all share an interest in cars, planes, boats, engineering and so on, yet I don't recall one occasion* when any of us showed the slightest interest in expensive watches. One friend is a bona fide millionaire and yet buys a decent but modest watch.  And not sure that there is any intrinsic mechanical connection between watches and cars, but that may just be me!

 

* I tell a lie, there is one of us who has a Breitling watch and we all teased him when he had to send it off for a 'service' that took nearly two months!



#170 chunder27

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 18:15

I guess that's the problem

 

I have bought a few issues

 

And didn't particularly enjoy the content! Agreed it was better than most racing mags I looked at. the finer point here I think.

 

Or the relentless bombardment of advertising. I buy magazines to read not dream about what life I COULD lead if I was richer, this is the image publishers want you to have when reading mags like this. I read the copies I bought in perhaps 2 hours, crap value for a fiver in my eyes.  It used to take me longer than that to read old MN's from cover to cover and they are less than a quid lol!

 

But hey, it's a free world  



#171 opplock

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 18:28

The October issue included an article on Chris Amon by Nigel Roebuck (in addition to an obituary), articles on Jack Brabham and Alex Zanardi plus lunch with Jackie Stewart. Add to that DCN writing about the 1935 Grand Prix season, Matt Oxley explaining Moto GP technology, Simon Arron reporting on meetings at Wiscombe Park and Cadwell Park......  Personally I doubt whether it could get much better.

 

Having discovered that the £10 watches on sale at the Factory Shop tell the time accurately enough for my purposes I have no interest in watch ads. So long as they subsidise the cost of my subscription however I am happy to turn the page.



#172 BRG

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 18:44

So long as they subsidise the cost of my subscription however I am happy to turn the page.

Indeed.  I enjoy leafing through the classic car ads even though I have neither the wherewithal nor the inclination to buy a Ferrari Daytona or whatever.  

 

The only ones that I ever had a problem with was when Ivan Dutton's adverts were channeling the Daily Mail's editorials rather than advertising the best cars of all time (Bugattis, if you needed to ask!). Oh, except for the ones that seem to be drafted by semi-literates, but that is another story.



#173 nexfast

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 20:04

But if you enjoy the content wouldn't you read it regardless of for whom it's intended? When I pick up a magazine, a book, see a movie, peruse a menu, buy a car, shop for clothing or a pair of shoes, it never occurs to me to consider, "Hmmmmm.......I wonder what kind of people they think will buy this, and do I want to be associated with that group?" I simply think about whether or not it suits my needs, is pleasing to me, and is reasonable value.

Very much in agreement. The only clue I can get about the rest of the readership is the published letters. The authors seem to me to be enthusiasts and in most cases quite knowledgeable. Very much to my regret I cannot consider myself neither snob nor rich since I never bought any product advertised in the magazine. I honestly don't understand this fixation on the watches supplement, which I tend to overlook to focus on content.



#174 Charlieman

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 20:29

Sir Henry Rawlinson at Rawlinson End pronounced: "If I had all the money that I've spent on drink... I'd spend it all on drink".

 

Even if I had money, I couldn't afford Ivan Dutton's prices,



#175 john aston

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 06:17

Indeed.  I enjoy leafing through the classic car ads even though I have neither the wherewithal nor the inclination to buy a Ferrari Daytona or whatever.  

 

The only ones that I ever had a problem with was when Ivan Dutton's adverts were channeling the Daily Mail's editorials rather than advertising the best cars of all time (Bugattis, if you needed to ask!). Oh, except for the ones that seem to be drafted by semi-literates, but that is another story.

 The Dutton things were toe curling but I liked the fact that the magazine printed them at all. Re accuracy of ads , would you buy a classic from a firm who boast of their  matching numbers restoration and then ruin it by including copy like this 'The stunning Muira was the First  super-car and it's transverse v12 with Webber carbs was the Principle reason why it so appealed to buyers like the Ager Khan . Once you are in sat  in   its bucket seats youll' never want to get out again! '.           I parody only slightly       



#176 chunder27

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 07:05

I guess when you have worked for whatever time in publishing, and also studied specific types of journalism, you end up being cynical about the way things are done in some magazines.

 

Kind of wish I had never done it now as it means I hardly read the damn things anymore!



#177 bill p

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 16:15

.........It used to take me longer than that to read old MN's from cover to cover and they are less than a quid lol!.....

Motorsport News, as it is now, costs £3.50 per week

I'd rather have Motor Sport at £4.99 per month..........

Edited by bill p, 20 October 2016 - 16:16.


#178 chunder27

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 20:50

And if you bought MN now, it would take you about half an hour to read it.

 

Which is why no-one does lol!



#179 David Birchall

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 01:47

That's interesting, because I have a group of friends that I have known for years and we all share an interest in cars, planes, boats, engineering and so on, yet I don't recall one occasion* when any of us showed the slightest interest in expensive watches. One friend is a bona fide millionaire and yet buys a decent but modest watch.  And not sure that there is any intrinsic mechanical connection between watches and cars, but that may just be me!

 

* I tell a lie, there is one of us who has a Breitling watch and we all teased him when he had to send it off for a 'service' that took nearly two months!

You stick with your friends, I'll stick with mine!  Who come from all over the world...



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#180 retriever

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 13:22

The watch adverts do not bother me - but I can do without the back page celebrity trivia on the life and likes of Jodie Kidd!



#181 RA Historian

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 13:32

The watch adverts do not bother me - but I can do without the back page celebrity trivia on the life and likes of Jodie Kidd!

I am probably just an ignorant Yank, but I never heard of Jodie Kidd.



#182 bill p

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 16:21

I am probably just an ignorant Yank, but I never heard of Jodie Kidd.


Presenter on a British classic car TV show...........

Edited by bill p, 21 October 2016 - 16:24.


#183 BRG

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 19:34

You stick with your friends, I'll stick with mine!  

GIven that your friends are probably in BC and mine are in SE England, that sounds like the best plan for both of us.  Although I do have an old friend in Vancouver.

I am probably just an ignorant Yank, but I never heard of Jodie Kidd.

A former model and certified petrolhead and sometime racer.  She is 'one of us', have no fear.



#184 Charlieman

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 15:32

The watch adverts do not bother me - but I can do without the back page celebrity trivia on the life and likes of Jodie Kidd!

Finish Line With... is an advertorial sponsored by Bell and Colvill. it's fluff but sometimes people tell something new about themselves. I find it interesting to read the answer to "Whom do you most admire?" Drivers often come across as more "spiritual" or grounded in human reality than elsewhere. They might be having a laugh, of course.

 

The real "back page" is the photo spread after Doug Nye's column. That is almost always a pleaser to bring a smile.



#185 Sterzo

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 21:25

Surely, folks, the criterion for buying a magazine is whether or not it has plenty of interesting content.  The fact it might also contain material you're not interested in is utterly irrelevant.

 

I view the watch pages as adverts. Are there editorial articles about watches? I've no idea, I don't look at those pages. Why would I, when there's so much fabulous content every month?



#186 john aston

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 06:52

The bluster about watches is , I suspect, targetted more at those who wear them (better off than we are and with suspiciously younger partners) than the magazine. If one looks back at a 60 s mag it's full of ads -  and whilst the £350 for a Porsche 356 ad always beguiles . the dross such as ads for economy devices , car coats etc is just as dull now as it was then .   



#187 chunder27

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 07:32

It is a common theme in all magazines, the perception that reading the mag somehow might mean you are in that clientele, it is a wannabe feeling. and is very prevalent in mens magazines and womens to some extent.

 

You don't see those ads in tv weeklies or soap mags do you.

Why?  Because they are read by the working class, and sold in large numbers on cheap paper as they are throwaway items.

 

They are not aspirational, most car magazines are, other than perhaps Auto Express and consumer road car magazines. You will see it in mens lifestyle mags, some film mags and fitness magazines. But not in model collector or radio controlled or computer game mags.

 

Publishers do research and find out that people who read car mags have high incomes and expendable income, hence the ads are there.



#188 Stephen W

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 09:58

Currently there is a long discussion on a certain social media site about the make of watch being worn by Innes Ireland. To each there own.



#189 kayemod

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 10:04

Currently there is a long discussion on a certain social media site about the make of watch being worn by Innes Ireland. To each there own.

 

From what I've heard about Innes, his watch would be made by either Glenmorangie or Lagavulin.



#190 john aston

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 13:33

Don't be vague, ask for .....



#191 doc knutsen

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 19:40

Don't be vague, ask for .....

Lavotchkin! It really gives you wings...


Edited by doc knutsen, 27 October 2016 - 19:40.


#192 BRG

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 19:59

New edition out today.  Out with the craft knife to remove 20 pages of watch related rubbish.  But the rest of the mag looks good!



#193 bill p

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 20:58

New edition out today. Out with the craft knife to remove 20 pages of watch related rubbish. But the rest of the mag looks good!

Yes, watches galore.....

Why not print up in a supplement like "Octane" does so it can be disposed of as necessary or read as a separate magazine?

Edited by bill p, 28 October 2016 - 20:59.


#194 kayemod

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 09:56

New edition out today.  Out with the craft knife to remove 20 pages of watch related rubbish.  But the rest of the mag looks good!

 

There are probably watch collectors all over the country complaining bitterly about the amount of car related stuff in this month's magazine. Market research must have revealed that many car enthusiasts are also interested in watches, or they wouldn't do this. Live and let live. It's no hardship to pass on a few pages, there are still almost two hundred pages in the current issue that are watch-free.



#195 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 10:34

And has been pointed out before, the revenues from those watch adverts and advertorials are contributing to keeping the price down - and possibly even sustaining the magazine's entire existence. Their advertising rate card is easy to find - a full page costs from £2590 (if you commit to 12 months) to £3445, a double page spread £4663 to £6220, the back cover £4150 and an inside front cover double page spread £7465 - flat rates, no discounts. So a company taking the back cover for a year is paying nearly £50K and thus subsidising at least one Motor Sport staff member's salary. Inside cover DPS for a year is the thick end of £90K. Now, you don't have to sell many Rolexes to recoup that sort of money, but you'd have to shift an awful lot of extra magazines to cover those amounts.

 

Nobody is compelling you to look at the ads or read the articles. Just be grateful they're there; if they weren't, you'd probably be moaning that there was no magazine at all because - let's face it - a few years ago that looked very likely, when the circulation was around 10000 and Haymarket offloaded it. It's now 35000 in print and 5000 online.

 

I wonder if readers of Country Life ever complain about the amount of property advertising that they have to negotiate before discovering who this week's 'girl in pearls' is ...



#196 E1pix

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 10:55

Perfect.

#197 RA Historian

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 13:33

Well said, Vitesse. I have a hard time stomaching the constant whining from some who seem to be unable to grasp the basic economics of the situation, which you have laid out so well just above. Back when cigarette advertising was legal, did they cut out all the cig ads because they didn't like them? But I suppose that without something to bitch about, they would be even more unhappy.



#198 kayemod

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 14:05

Their advertising rate card is easy to find - a full page costs from £2590 (if you commit to 12 months) to £3445, a double page spread £4663 to £6220, the back cover £4150 and an inside front cover double page spread £7465 - flat rates, no discounts.

 

Not how the advertising/publishing industry works, I'm sure that Motor Sport do try as best they can to maintain their advertised prices, but as someone who has placed and paid for several hundred magazine adverts over the years, I can promise you that everything like this is "subject to negotiation" with advertising managers, that's a large part of their job. I found that the price paid was sometimes less than half advertised rates, often even less if I booked a series, and friends in the business had similar experiences. Maybe things have changed in recent years, though with the current economic situation and falling circulations everywhere, many magazines are struggling desperately on the verge of extinction, I very much doubt it.

 

Other than his "no discounts" suggestion, amusing to anyone who has experience of these things, I agree wholeheartedly with every word of Vitesse's post, some common sense at last.



#199 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 14:11

Hell, I'd be happy if they'd just send me the back issue I purchased over a month ago.....



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#200 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 14:28

Okay, make that 'no advertised discounts' then ... never having personally been in the position of buying more than one small advert in provincial papers or event programmes I'm quite happy to accept that the rate card may very well be open to negotiation.

 

The disappearance of tobacco advertising in the early 2000s probably left a very big hole in quite a few magazines' revenue streams. So we should perhaps congratulate Motor Sport for its success in diversification.