Has Campaign bitten off more than it can chew?

busty idolNever let it be said that I like to slag off rival magazines. I don’t like it, I bloody love it, although even I was a little sad to hear the news that DecisionMarketing has not only seen off just one rival, but quite possibly three, after Haymarket Publishing announced they were closing a raft of marketing publications.
The thing is, they seemed pretty chipper about it, revealing that the weak will inherit the Earth with Campaign – the only magazine which is thinner that its editor – swallowing up Marketing, Media Week and, if some are to be believed, Brand Republic too.
To be honest, I always thought Campaign could do with a decent meal, but fair do’s to our old rival Claire Beale, she’s ended up with the banquet of the, er, Campaign “super brand”.
Reading through the blurb, however, you would be hard pressed to find out that Marketing’s been losing money hand over fist, MediaWeek is screwed and Brand Republic is pointless.
As it states: “Silos are increasingly untenable in our business, as they are in yours. So from May we’re bringing together our specialist journalists and commentators from across the advertising, marketing and media industries to track, analyse and inspire creativity that builds brands and businesses.
“The iconic weekly Campaign magazine (really?) will be complemented by a new quarterly, which will take a deeper look at the consumer and industry trends that are shaping and inspiring the best new thinking.”
Not that things are quite so rosy down in Twickenham I hear, with one wag saying the move has “gone down like a cup of cold sick”. Her version of the press release goes something like this: “It’s been on the cards for ages. Marketing’s been losing money for years – the monthly redesign was the last throw of the dice. So basically it provides more reporters to do online news. Not sure what the quarterly thing is about but I reckon it will all go monthly with a weekly Campaign iPad edition. The rest of the stuff will be online fodder produced by demoralised poorly paid hacks.”
Surely not. What about the fact that it has “conducted extensive research, analysed the historic behaviour of the users of our sites, consulted some of the smartest minds in the business, and tested specific ideas with individual professionals of all ages and backgrounds”?
Oh yeah, that is slightly marred by the next paragraph. “So, we’d like your feedback. Now, on our overall plans; then later on the specifics, as we share illustrations of the new kinds of stories we’re planning to write and the way we intend to present them.” Er, your research is pretty shit then.
Meanwhile over at Marketing Week, they appear equally clueless, as just this morning I received an email begging me to tell them what I see as the “marketing issues and the media that cover them, in print, online, or at events”.
It added: “It would be enormously valuable to us if you would spare 10 minutes and let us know what you think, as your feedback will be used to improve what we offer you over the next year.”
Not that that would ever happen here at DecisionMarketing, dear Busty fans, old McKelvey reckons he’s always got his finger on the pulse. Then again, last time I saw him, you’d be lucky to have found a pulse at all…

You can also follow Busty on Twitter @BustyIdol

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