Don’t do it

Don’t do it: Felix Dennis warns his fellow British magazine publishers to not fall prey to the American way of doing business.


At times shouting, he told the audience at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London that the magazine industry is in danger of “a painful, lingering death” at the hands of “the American disease”. Dennis warned that US magazines have been so desperate to meet rate base (RB)– the level of circulation they promise to advertisers – that they have ended up paying huge sums to retailers for shelf space and allowed thirdparty subscription agents to take most of the subscription fee just for delivering readers. He said: “There is only one rule in magazine circulation departments in the US – meet RB or die.” In the US, warned Dennis, publishers pay an ever-escalating retail display allowance (RDA) just to get the titles in the shops.