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Mr Men challenges for newsagents in SA

Mark Fletcher
February 12th, 2014 · 30 Comments

mr-men-stuff-upSouth Australian newsagents are not being supplied enough volume of the Mr Men books to satisfy demand generated by promotion in The Advertiser  and through TV and other advertising.

The circulation manager at News in Adelaide wrote to newsagents saying that they, newsagents, should direct customers to News and the company will endeavour to assist. Note the line written by someone who has not spent enough time serving customers at a newsagency counter:

I must stress that you should make no commitment to the customer that they will definitely be supplied their order.

News is heavily promoting the Mr Men books in its newspapers and on national TV. It would / should have known the success the campaign could achieve and should have ensured sufficient supply in South Australia. Thankfully, I am not experiencing short supply in Victoria.

4 likes

Category: Newspaper marketing · Newspapers

30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carmen // Feb 12, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Mark,
    You appear to be the only one not having trouble with these books. They are a nightmare.

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  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Feb 12, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Carmen I think I must be lucky this time. Hopefully more newsagents share their stories. Suppliers read this blog.

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  • 3 allan wickham // Feb 12, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    I have actually got too much stock (not complaing about that) but the biggest problem with these promos is the lack of supply of the newspaper, I would have thought that automatic increases in supply would have been the goal of the publisher.

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  • 4 Jenny // Feb 12, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    We have far too much stock, and none of our subs have requested extra.
    We are promoting it in our shop, I’m surprised our sales are so low.

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  • 5 Richard // Feb 12, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Our News Manager visited and balanced stock and told us that there would be no automatic adjustments and to make changes in iServices. We have had good results so far. I understand that since iServices have come in the days of Auto adjustments have gone. Only one side can make changes otherwise chaos.

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  • 6 shauns // Feb 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    The whole iservices thing is built around CHAOS ,actually if you look up the dictionary to find the meaning of iservices Chaos does come up .

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  • 7 jeff // Feb 12, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    This is possibly the poorest and most grammatically incorrect notice I have seen. It hurt my eyes reading that.

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  • 8 PB // Feb 12, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    We distribute over 600 papers weekdays and over 1000 on weekends. Our supply is 75 books per day we have to share with another newsagency who is our sub agent. We had 50 requests from our customers before the promotion began for the whole set to be put away as this is something we regularly do for our customers. The remaining 25 we give to our sub agent. Our area manager found an extra 10 books a day for us which is all we have to hand out during the day. We sell out before 8am everyday. Not happy!

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  • 9 Allan wickham // Feb 12, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Happy to send you my extra copies if it helps PB.

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  • 10 Carol // Feb 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Total oversupply here too. Apparently they are designed to increase Sales but we have only got 5 regulars buying it. It happens with all the promotions.

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  • 11 rick // Feb 13, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    I am way overstocked, ive got boxes i cant jump over out the back

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  • 12 Greig // Feb 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    we received 25 mr men per day and we got another 25 per day when i rang and said we were not doing the promotion and to stick it. We are out within 2 hours and are pissing off a lot of regulars. I hear that the qld distribution of books was terrible to a lot of people. They are are also running another sunday promo at the same time for four weeks but it is getting drowned out.

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  • 13 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Feb 13, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Going well, selling around 60 a day so far, Advertiser sales doubled compared to average week. And I expect a rush on Saturday for the set to date as many of our customers can’t get in weekdays. Supporting with posters on entry doors and a window display.

    Love it because there is no other source for these close by, its either come to me or drive 10kms to next nearest Newspower or IGA.

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  • 14 Mark // Feb 24, 2014 at 2:29 AM

    Just wondering if you have any customers who have trouble completing their collection. I am fortunate enough to live in Sydney and can find those newsagents that has extra stock. I know of one who still have extra copies all the books except the last one. They even had one complete set that they promoted for sale, and it was also wrapped in plastic like for gift.

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  • 15 Mark Fletcher // Feb 24, 2014 at 3:28 AM

    We’re experiencing more people with this promotion coming in for the book only. Often they are frustrated with the number of newsagencies without stock. We’re turning away 30% due to out of stock.

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  • 16 Gregg // Feb 24, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    Mark, I spoke to our CSR well before this promo and requested I have control of the numbers to be supplied, but no they new what we needed apparently and now we have had a total oversupply. Why won’t News give us control of the quantities to be supplied the same as newspapers. We understand our customers better than some person sitting in an office throwing darts at a dart board to make up quantities.

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  • 17 Gregg // Feb 24, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    BTW, usually the DT have a bonus token so people can buy a paper and get the book after the promo, this does not seem the case this time. I have one customer who wants 4 books but has no tokens and rang the DT and was told no token no book?

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  • 18 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Feb 24, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Crazy that all stock was recalled yesterday. There WILL be people wanting to complete collections that didn’t get in over the weekend.

    I am anticipating a few pissed off customers today when I say “Sorry, I had to send them all back.” Would it have harmed to have waited a week before recall?

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  • 19 Jenny // Feb 24, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Now I have calmed down I’ll vent here!
    How did I know these books are being recalled? I read this blog this morning!
    Yes my husband could have checked iservices last night but hey Sunday night even newsagents should forget about work for a bit, and even if we found out last night we could not have done anything about it until today.
    We have 4 sub agents that I had to call this morning to say have these ready for this afternoons pickup. Yep it’s a busy Monday, magazine day, and yes there are still customers who will come in later in the week to pick up their last couple of books, but sorry we need them today for credits.
    We support all these publisher promotions and all I ask is to give us notice of more than a day so we can inform customers earlier that there won’t be a bonus coupon (like all the other promos had) so get your books by Sunday, and so that we newsagents and subs can be organised as well!
    I know that we will have unhappy customers this week who missed out on some of these books and our staff will get the complaints.

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  • 20 shauns // Feb 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    so where do you find these on Iservices to return them I have looked and found zip

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  • 21 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Feb 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Jeny, not sure about where you are, but the Advertiser had the bonus coupon in Saturday’s edition.

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  • 22 Gregg // Feb 24, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Jenny calm down. Yes it is not good that returns are required so quickly, but it is only for books 1 to 7 this week and the balance next week which will split the billing and credits over two weeks. All the physical returns can be done in one lot according to circulation next week. Also book one (the freebie) is for full packs only. Like you I was not happy this morning but after a good deep breathe and speaking to circulation things felt not so bad.

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  • 23 June // Feb 24, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Newspaper supply was not adequate on any day of the promo and I sold out of
    the Mr Men books every day except the last two days (they were very late arriving and I missed at least 50 x pickups from the early morning people).
    It was a successful promo for the books but I didn’t get any extra sales because I didn’t get any extra papers and I sold out every single day of the promo.
    I always thought a promo was to increase circulation – maybe I’ve got it wrong.
    Anyway I don’t really care about circulation anymore – papers are not my greatest core product these days.
    I think the publishers are only marking time and playing footsie with us.

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  • 24 Jenny // Feb 24, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Shaun’s they are on iservices but you need a degree, possibly a masters, in iservices to process them.
    Gregg I don’t care if it’s only books 1-7, we should know at the beginning of the promo the returns procedure.
    This promotion was planned months ago, distribution newsagents work 7 days a week and have to make last minute adjustments with their paper supplies at ridiculous hours, but the people organising these promotions work in an office Monday to Friday, and really should have all details sorted before it starts.
    We did a great job promoting Mr Men but I don’t like to be told things last minute, I like to have a day off too!

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  • 25 Mark // Feb 24, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    I feel for those customers who are unable to complete their collection. If anyone is interested I have one extra copy of book 13 and 14. Some of the newsagents in Sydney did not even ask me for the coupons. I may be able to get others as well. Like u mentioned earlier I know of one newsagent who had extra copies of all books except the last one.

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  • 26 Peter // Feb 24, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    I was over supplied and have 25 plus each issue left after selling say 80 plus an issue. No problems till I started trying to figure out how to return them on iservices. Help??? Please if any one else can figure how to return them on iservices please inform the group.

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  • 27 shauns // Feb 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Have a look at your emails there is a HOW TO GUIDE from News . I cannot believe they have to send a how to guide on something that should have bheen so simple ,like we have nothing better to do with our time

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  • 28 Jenny // Feb 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Peter, we found them listed on iservices but it won’t accept the returns.
    Help needed here also!
    80% sell thru is a pretty good supply quantity.

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  • 29 Gregg // Feb 24, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Jenny, select the book as normal is the listed publications to be returned but select date of the 18th on the calendar in all cases. Hope this helps

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  • 30 Jenny // Feb 24, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Thanks Gregg will pass that on.

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