A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

The Illawarra Mercury subscription deal

imer.jpgI’m told that there is a post-it ad stuck on the front cover of the Illawarra Mercury today promoting a home delivery offer. Pay $4.00 a week for six days of the newspaper. The usual price for six days is $7.50 plus a delivery fee. On top of the massive discount, which the newsagents is forced to partially fund, the publisher is giving away a $50 Coles / Myer Gift Card and a bunch of other freebies.

It is appalling that a newspaper publisher forces newsagents to pay for a campaign such as this when the newsagent has no capacity to balance the cost with other revenue in their business. It is an abuse of the newsagent / publisher relationship.  If I were affected by this I’d be asking the ACCC what the Trade Practices Act says about such an arrangement – despite that a contract between publisher and newsagent may speak to this type of deal.

The publisher is prepared to discount because they will win through protecting advertising rates by staving off circulation falls. The newsagent gets no cut from advertising.

I went to the Mercury website to check out the details. I clicked on the ad and it took me nowhere. So I clicked on subscriptions and was given the email address and phone number for the circulation manager. I clicked on promotions and found nothing about this. Someone in marketing stuffed up.

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  1. Derek

    I just shook my head when I saw it this morning, Talk about driving customers away from Newsagents.

    If I were a person who did not have a suscription why would you not take this deal? Its a good deal for customers especially in these economic times.

    It is obvious that Fairfax puts its subscription business ahead of its business relationship with Newsagents and by doing so they have taken the customer away from Newsagents.

    They are competing with Newsagents!
    They are using Newsagents for distribution of subscription customers!
    They are driving customers from local small business’s!

    I am submitting my complaint using online form via ACCC website.

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