Magazine article Marketing

It's Time to Take a Direct Hint and Save Your Money

Magazine article Marketing

It's Time to Take a Direct Hint and Save Your Money

Article excerpt

Twenty-six years ago a printer took me to the Wig & Pen Club in Fleet Street. Thinking I had a much bigger print budget than I did, he paid for me to become a lifetime member. Since then I have been there exactly three times.

The first was when I took my partners to rejoice after being granted recognition by the NPA in 1979. We had much to celebrate because we had just won part of The Reader's Digest account.

However, we did have a problem: nobody to buy space. I had done it more than once in the past but I was no expert. My only coup was to get the rep from Weekend magazine so drunk he conceded a permanent 25% discount if we bought a certain amount of space; a very good deal which almost cost him his job. This ploy - outdrinking reps - is rather like judo: it catches them off balance. They normally operate by plying you with booze. So, no doubt my victim succumbed from sheer surprise at having his own standard tactics used on him.

Eventually, we found a superb media person: Karen Lee. One year she got our average media cost for Reader's Digest to below 50% of rate card - and that was in the affluent 80s. My partner Brian Thomas nicknamed her 'bite yet legs Lee' because she was such a tenacious negotiator - or so he said.

I prefer not to sully the pages of this respectable marketing publication with my own theory on how he dreamt up this nickname; but eventually they got married.

When Karen arrived, I was writing Commonsense Direct Marketing. …

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