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VANA spins its new marketing group

Mark Fletcher
November 26th, 2008 · 10 Comments

VANA has announced its Future Project to its members. This is the new marketing group I blogged about three days ago although VANA is at pains to point out that this is not a marketing group. The announcement reads differently to the pitch given to newsagents who have attended a briefing.

VANA’s announcement points to compliance as a key driver of the project. Newsagents who want to focus on compliance have options already available in the form of newsXpress, Nextra, Supanews and, to a lesser extent, Newspower. The first three have franchise agreements which act as the mechanism for compliance. What VANA is doing is going into competition with these groups using newsagent funds. If they were a good association I would not mind so much but they are not. They have failed their members on many fronts over the last year.

This project has less to do with compliance and more to do with VANA hatred of GNS. This motivation is one reason the project is likely to fail for all but a select group of newsagents. If the association was concerned about serving all members then their future project would have been structured in a way that it was relevant to all newsagents from the outset.


Category: Newsagency challenges · newsagency marketing

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tim // Nov 26, 2008 at 9:54 PM

    It disappoints me to hear that VANA have chosen this direction. As a fee paying member, I don’t agree with my money being used to establish and run ventures like this and N-stock. Like many others, I’m more than prepared to pay to belong to an association that represents us and lobbies for much needed change in obvious areas. Unfortunately, Vana (like the ANF) seems to miss the point that we are all craving industry support, not commercial offers.


  • 2 Vic Anon // Nov 27, 2008 at 7:45 AM


    The history of VANA is that they do what they want and bugger the members.

    I’m not aware of any time the members have asked VANA to explore an alternate group structure, especially since they still own Newspower and have left that to rot.

    The only thing I would trust VANA with is the resignation of the CEO, and I think nothing else is acceptable. He is the common denominator that has caused VANA to be as irrelevant as it is today.


  • 3 Vic Anon // Nov 27, 2008 at 7:49 AM

    Hang on, I’ve just learned that his 2IC, Bronwyn has resigned.

    Now there really is no-one there working for newsagent members.


  • 4 Vaughan // Nov 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Unfortunately for VANA, yes, Bronwyn Roney has resigned. It should have been announced earlier this week, having said that i can understand why it hasn’t. It will be a great loss for newsagents and Peter Cowley. Her workload was tremedous. I wish her well in the future.

    After having discussions with the Chairman, Garry Tribe, I will reserve my judgement on the futures project until i see the working document.


  • 5 John R. // Nov 27, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    Peter Cowley might have to actually work for a change if he keeps his job.


  • 6 Derek // Nov 27, 2008 at 6:28 PM

    A question for all Newsagents if I may.

    What is the risk if any or what is at stake for your business if you decided to resign from your particular Association?

    I will understand if you decide not to comment.


  • 7 Michael // Nov 27, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    Derek, I’m not afraid to comment.

    There is no risk at all – I’m in neither a state or national association.

    I’ve been around associations all my life (My dad’s been a president of many associations and still is) and I know how they should work and how fantastic they are for everyone when they are operated for member’s interests only.

    When there is something transperant, viable, only tackles our threats, doesn’t take cash to shut up and converses with the government, I’ll join.


  • 8 Jarryd Moore // Nov 27, 2008 at 8:17 PM


    I agree with Michael – this is no risk. We too are not part of any association.

    The relvance of associations (even good ones) continues to decline in the curren market. I would encourage newsagents to ditch associations altogether and embrace more efficient, modern and relative aternatives.


  • 9 Chris // Nov 27, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    Associations are can be very useful bodies, IF run properly.
    I suggest we give the new board some time, and if they do not perform, run a ticket against them and dump them.
    Simple as that.
    Bye Bronwyn, you will be missed.


  • 10 steve // Nov 27, 2008 at 10:11 PM

    Unfortunately I think the current directors of some of these particular industry associations will have as their epitaph that they killed them off. A sad legacy to the members they represented and probably their original intentions. But nonetheless history will rate them in this unkind way and as destructive force to what should have been a common good. Not how most of us would like to be remembered.


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