Uncensored arrived on Australian newsagency shelves this past week. It’s a New Zealand magazine which the publishers and distributors want placed next to The Bulletin, Time and Newsweek.
I don’t like this title. It is the ultimate conspiracy theorist’s magazine. The production quality is poor and the writing quality worse. I’m not proud to have it on my shelf. To want it placed next to the other respected news and current affairs titles is an appalling decision by the publisher and distributor. The only product advertised in the magazine, besides a sister magazine and some dubious books is an ad for MAGNA-RX+, the “world’s #1 best-selling all-natural male performance formula”. Yep, a quality publication.
Uncensored is a perfect example of poor product which should not, in my view, get distributed in Australia. That said, when you look at the numbers you can understand why. Magazine distributors receive a fee to circulate product like this through the system regardless of whether the title sells. Newsagents, on the other hand, receive payment only if the product is stolen. Of the $9.95 cover price, I get $2.48 if I sell a copy. I receive three copies and have to hold them for a month. I have been invoiced for the three this month and have to pay by the end of next month. I return what is not sold and I get the credit in March. So from a cash flow perspective, I’m out for at least 30 days. The display pocket the product takes costs me $3.00 per month and the title will use around $1.00 in labour for the month. So, I need to sell two copies to break even.
Uncensored is being distributed because the magazine distribution model in Australia allows titles like this through the system as long as the distributor is paid a fee for their efforts. That newsagents receive nothing and therefore carry the risk is a shameful big business versus small business imbalance.
I don’t deny the right of the publishers of Uncensored to publish this magazine. My complaint is with a system which makes my small business a stakeholder in spreading this trash. If they want to use my store they should pay and pay handsomely. I have good traffic and they want to access that. So they can pay. To leech off a system which makes me invest in their business and ideas is appalling.
I’m going to return Uncensored this week and claim the credit this month.
You can find out more about Uncensored from their website.