Australian Newsagency Blog

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NDD cries foul on Alpha

Mark Fletcher
April 28th, 2009 · 29 Comments

AUSTRALIAN NEWSAGENCY BLOG GETS IT WRONG
Incorrect information has been reported in a recent Australian Newsagency blog, alleging that NDD ignores retailer supply level requests for Alpha when in fact retailers were invited to review their supply in NDD’s e Newsletter on 7th April. The blog also suggests ‘lack of control’ by retailers has resulted in ‘some’ closed NDD accounts – an opinion that is unspecified, unsubstantiated and incorrect.

This is what NDD sent out to newsagents overnight.  They are responding to my April 7 blog post.   It is a surprising statement from the company.  I approached NDD last year to have them stop supplying me with certain titles.  They refused.  Indeed, I have a stream of correspondence on this with the company.  This is what caused me to blog as I did.

Through my work with other newsagents I have more examples of NDD refusing to stop supplying titles when requested by newsagents.   Newsagents have also told me that they closed their NDD account because of this issue.

While NDD can make any claim they like, their claim that I got it wrong with what I wrote about Alpha is, itself, wrong.  The way for NDD to fix this is to agree to every request from newsagents to cut supply of titles.

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Category: magazine distribution · magazines

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael // Apr 28, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    I think Comical Ali has been employed by NDD. It’s the only way this type of propaganda makes sense to me.

    What happens in our stores and what is commented on this blog are similar, yet what NDD has stated is quite different.

    For those who have only seen Comical Ali’s work recently, here is some of his older work:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMqU8vE65g8

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  • 2 Y&G // Apr 28, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Bummer. We unsubscribed from their newsletter when they kissed us off. No closure as yet, BTW. Talk about everything on their terms.

    We haven’t even heard from IPMG, who we wrote to five weeks ago either, in response to NDD’s other practice of shafting smaller agents. Part of that feedback included the fact that they “rejected” requests to cancel dud titles with no discussion. Just “rejected” on the history page online, should one care to look it up!

    Are they only sending this newsletter to agents/customers that haven’t been refused cancellation of titles? Surely, given the way they operate on every other level, they’re not so unbelievably more, biggerly arrogant that they also bleat this to those they’ve blocked cancellations for?
    But of course, they are!

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  • 3 Sarah // Apr 28, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    How can they say this? They must have their head in the sand to believe that this is true.

    We are fighting to change our supply quantities – the sad part is that I shouldn’t have to fight, it should just be done.

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  • 4 Y&G // Apr 28, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Oh, and it felt good to finish altogether with Alpha this week.

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  • 5 Y&G // Apr 28, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Can we have a comment from an NDD representative on here? Are they game?
    Hell, I’d like to hear from one at all.
    Yoo Hoo?

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  • 6 chris // Apr 28, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    couldn’t agree more, I had to go through the state manager to get mine changed

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  • 7 dan // Apr 28, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    we cancelled our account with ndd last year because they would not listen to us their customer. so i say good riddance to them

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  • 8 Michael // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    What gets me is that they cut so many accounts at a time like this.

    I couldn’t afford to cut my customer numbers like that. Any turnover is good turnover at the moment.

    What’s next to come?

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  • 9 Greg // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:34 PM

    Well, I tried to reduce my supply to 20 from the website a few weeks ago, however looks like i am getting over 110 tomorrow…..

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  • 10 shaun s // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    anyone see what there allocation for alpha is i just downloaded my files and was not supprised when my supply had more than trippled ……….they will be back at followmont depo by monday morning with the rest of my returns

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  • 11 Michael // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:37 PM

    I don’t know what to believe now, Shaun or NDD………LOL

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  • 12 PB // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:38 PM

    They are still probbly distributing the same number of mags. Our supply of mags from NDD has increased in the last couple of months, some supplies have doubled even though we have never sold any copies of that mag. It just means our early returns have doubled as well!

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  • 13 Y&G // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    “I don’t know what to believe now, Shaun or NDD………LOL”

    LMAO

    Oh, and PB – you’ve probably got our allocation. LOL

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  • 14 Michael // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    Another thing I don’t like is how they’ve said Mark has got it wrong.

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while and know that Mark wouldn’t post incorrect information when it comes to something like this.

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  • 15 Vaughan // Apr 28, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    I am so furious after doing the invoicing tonight.

    After sending a letter direct to News Magazines advising them of my decision to quit Alpha Magazine a month ago; i also asked them to forward a copy directly to NDD, you would think they would get it!
    Guess what; Alpha arrives tomorrow. Not the 60 copies i was receiving from HWT, of which we would return 30+; i am being sent 100.
    NDD will be receiving a letter from my solicitor on this one; It is blatant abuse of a business relationship.

    NDD may also want to wait a few days before making the call to my store after this post, as it will take me that long to calm down!
    Vaughan Lawrence
    newsxpress Seymour

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  • 16 Derek // Apr 28, 2009 at 6:40 PM

    NDD treats the entire channel with contempt.

    I believe their will be a day of reckoning, although I cannot say with certainty when.

    If I were a publisher using NDD to be my distributor I would be asking questions. Lovatts Publications smelled a rat and are now back where they belong and i forsee more publishers researching alternatives for their products.

    NDD has drawn a unmovable line in the sand, I say what do all the associations think of this and what can they do on a united front for the channel.

    This is another opportunity for the channel representatives to take a stand, unfourtunately they did not take a stand on the ALPHA betrayal.

    110 Alpha’s supplied when Greg followed NDD instructions to allocated what he wanted. When you want 20 Alpha’s can someone please help me understand why Greg is getting 400% more ALPHA’s than he requested.

    Please note I am not a member of NDD, I closed my account because it drained my cash flow by oversupply of reasonable magazines and sending out crap multitudes of unsellable magazines. Then I had to pay for it.

    Here is another opportunity to confront NDD head on.

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  • 17 Michael // Apr 29, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    My supply has more than doubled to what I had with News.

    I don’t need this seeing now it’s not in a prime position, it’s been relegated to a position behind those plastic “Free Magazine in this issue” grab the space above it’s pocket magazine type mag.

    So it’s well hidden from the consumer.

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  • 18 rick // Apr 29, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    i must be on the NDD good boy list, I reduced my allocation online and knock me down with a feather i was supplied as per my request. what can i say, well done NDD.

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  • 19 Sarah // Apr 29, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    NDD sent an email asking us to do a prominent display of Alpha this month. At the bottom of the email it said, “Please email your feedback to us! Whether it is good (or bad), we will truly appreciate it!”

    I’ve sent an email and I encourage you to do the same. Email: online@ndd.com.au

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  • 20 Bill // Apr 30, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    I use to have issues with NDD until I told them until they reduced my stock holding I would only pay the cost of goods sold each month. It took a few months but they came around. My stock level is now 45% of what it used to be with little impact on sales. I have had no isuues with them now for over 2 years. Re Alpha our margin has increased as we were previously a subagent for News Ltd.

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  • 21 Dean // May 5, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    I heard that some direct supply subbies get 28% for magazines, not 25% like fully authorised newsagents.

    How come they get a better margin, without getting all the crap that we get?

    One of our petrol stations accidentally gave their magazine returns to us a couple of times. We always sell out of Zoo and they won’t increase our order. The subbie returned more than we receive. What’s with that?

    It just shows how weak VANA is.

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  • 22 Derek // May 5, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    Dean

    I am not a fan of Associations but you should fax, phone or email them your concerns, they may not know about it and ask for feedback when they get to the bottom of it..

    This is my standard response regarding these issues now.

    In the meantime keep blogging about these inadequacies, All media outlets you be used, this sounds like typical Publisher biased towards Petrol Stations.

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  • 23 Chris // May 5, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    Dean, Derek is right on the money. Let your association now what is going on so that they can take it up in a formal manner, and get a response from management at NDD. Its the only way to go about these things, email, fax write to your association.
    Cheers
    Chris
    reservoir

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  • 24 Mark // May 5, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    Associations have failed to rein in NDD in years. There is no contract, no formal framework through which to negotiate terms. NDD knows this. I sought last year to control certain titles and NDD refused. The associations have failed on this front for years. Te new magazine code of conduct will not fix this.

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  • 25 Y&G // May 6, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Good luck even getting a response from NDD. We’re still waiting – granted on a different issue – waiting all the same.

    Incidentally, at long last, we got a final statement from NDD of just how much of our cash they had in their hot, grabby little hands. Very scary, considering we were too small for them. Oh, the arrogance! I’d hate to think how many more thousands they have of any of yours at any given time! :-0
    If I did have faith in associations, just that issue alone would be one I’d be pushing.

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  • 26 Derek // May 6, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    Mark, I will not disagree regarding associations, I had to close my NDD account because NDD and its computer system could not control / sustain the standing order I created with them. I was told that by the horses mouth.

    However Mark, what are we supposed to do if we do not start bombarding our Associations with these issues, their is very little recourse other than to do this.

    If you could not even gain control over your NDD supply what hope is their for the rest of us.

    Associations should receive correspondence although they already have many full filing cabinets concerning this 1 issue. This damaging issue with NDD probably needs Associations to finally draw the line and begin legal action against NDD on behalf of the Newsagent Channel, this will also expose the entire distribution system for the whole of Australia to see. I would have no hesitation in contributing to this action financially.

    Their is enough factual history for this to happen. I know Associations already know about NDD and how damaging they are to the channel. It has to stop and Associations will regain the respect and trust from the channel and also Membership will grow rapidly once shown that foundation issues are taken seriously.

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  • 27 Mark // May 6, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Derek, I am not saying Don’t approach associations.

    I would like to see the matter taken to the ACCC. While there are issues around that – non contract – evidence of oversupply would be timely for the ACCC.

    The other option is to close the NDD account as others here have noted.

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  • 28 Derek // May 6, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    thankyou Mark for that clarification.

    Do you think about the legal option?

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  • 29 Mark // May 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Not a fan Derek. The process would be slow and NDD not having a contract makes it challenging. I have discussed with with the ACCC at length.

    Publishers dealing with NDD will notice if they lose outlets.

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