Magazine industry responds to claims that magazine sales staff are the least likely to visit agencies

Key figures from across Australia’s magazine industry have responded to a recent report which claimed magazine sales staff as the least likely to make an effort to visit agencies across all key Australian markets.

Nicole Bence, commercial strategy and solutions director, Pacific Magazines told Mumbrella: “We take it seriously, and we’re definitely very interested in what the voice of our agencies and our partners have to say to us. We’re always challenging ourselves to find ways to add value to our agencies and partners.

“Our proposition has changed considerably over the last 12 months. If we need to be doing a better job within the agencies to talk to them about our key messages… then absolutely we take that seriously and we will consider that in what our trade engagement is moving forward.”

Bence’s comments made in response to a recent Media i survey, which claimed magazine staff were the least likely to visit media agencies. In contrast, outdoor staff were reported as being the most likely.

According to the report, in as little as four years, magazine staff have gone from being seen as the most frequent visitors to media agencies, to one of the least. Back in 2013, 40% of respondents said magazines visited most often, but in 2017, just 10% were willing to make that claim.


A total of 39% of media agency staff say outdoor reps visit most frequently | Source: Media i

“We are out in market and we are bringing value to our agencies, if we need to continue to challenge ourselves around how to do that better, absolutely we will do that,” Bence added.

Speaking to Mumbrella about the research, Louise Barrett, executive general manager News Corp national sales, said: “We’re not just one company anymore – we’re selling everything.

“There’s no point in viewing it as just magazines or TV or radio – we’re all so much more than that now. Maybe Media i need to have a look at the way they break down the data.

“We all rely on the Media i research, because it’s the only research we can use to analyse against what the agencies think of us. But from News Corp’s point of view, we’re so much bigger than that… we are a fully integrated business and present across all parts of the equation.”

Giving advice to the wider magazine industry, Barrett said: “The agencies are becoming increasingly time poor, so you need to have something solid to talk to them about.” She advised magazine sales staff to “make sure that they’re talking to the agencies about what’s relevant… that they’ve got relevant offerings to to take to market.”

The survey also polled staff across each market on their happiness levels, magazines were just behind newspapers with the highest levels of very unhappy staff at 32%. Yet again, outdoor and cinema came out on top with a total of 86% either happy or very happy.

Bence said: “We are really close to the the health of our employees, what’s important to them, and very much about building strategies into our training, our learning and development and making sure that we’re providing an environment that they’re happy to work in.”