The campaign comprises 2.6 million mailshots – 1.3 million under each brand – and promotes the Digest’s core products of books, DVDs and CDs, with orders going straight to the company. It is understood the magazine only contributes about 20 per cent of the group’s income.
Speaking exclusively to DecisionMarketing, chief executive David Titmuss confirmed the move, and said: “There are not two stronger brands in the UK than the BBC and ITV, so we are delighted to have secured this deal with both of them.”
Reader’s Digest was put into administration by its US parent in April due to the size of its pension fund deficit, but the 72-year-old UK brand was saved by a management buyout and a £13m investment from venture capitalist firm Better Capital in the same month.
It recently launched a £3m marketing push – including giving away thousands of copies at rail stations in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds – to boost circulation by 50 per cent. The title recorded an ABC average net circulation of 402,290 for the six months to June 2010.
Since its relaunch the title has signed up a number of new contributors, including one-time magazine enfant terrible James Brown.
He writes a column called Reasons to be Cheerful and joins columnists chef Marco Pierre White and BBC Radio 2 DJ Stuart Maconie. At the time of his appointment, Brown who was partly responsible for the lads’ mag revolution, said Reader’s Digest was “quite simply, the biggest magazine in the world”.
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