Why and how the MPA decided to conduct a trial into magazine processes

MPA magazine pilot

In early 2015, the MPA commissioned a review to evaluate the magazine category’s performance – this was called ‘Destination Newsagent’. Results from this review indicated that changes were critical with a major focus on the supply of the product and category management.

Publishers want and need the newsagency channel to remain strong and the MPA set about investigating the best way forward.

Selected newsagents were invited to join a ‘Destination Newsagent’ pilot study to review and evaluate the category’s performance.

The aims of the pilot are to analyse, assess and refine the magazine management principles as recommended by the MPA guidelines as well as test proposed elements of a Code of Conduct for distributors/publishers.

Specifically to:

  • Address perceived supply issues by testing sales efficiencies business rules to ensure maximum sales with minimal returns;
  • Evaluate the ability to reduce early returns through improved allocations;
  • Better use of data by distributor/publishers to make better supply decisions and measure impact on sales;
  • Test the correct business rules around stock management such as re-issues;
  • Test the effectiveness of more supply control by newsagents; and
  • Test the ability for a distributor/publisher to adhere to a framework of accountability and eradicate any weak spots.

The newsagents invited to be in the pilots were chosen according to the following criteria:

  • Easy access throughout the trial period;
  • Differing store profiles so the outcomes meet total channel requirements;
  • Using EDI via XchangeIT.

Once this trial starts, the ANF will keep members informed on what’s happening.

 

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56 thoughts on “Why and how the MPA decided to conduct a trial into magazine processes

  1. I think one of the Biggest issues is early returns from what I have heard they want nil early returns is this true ? IPS do not allow early returns and this has not worked out, they continue to send stock that was not ordered and new tittles that were not asked for and I have to sit them on my shelf even though I know they will not sell for 3 issues .

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    • Shaun, there are no plans to disallow early returns. There is a trial to take place to find better ways to manage magazines and part of this may be that with better, more accurate supply, there will be less need to early return on the scale it happens now. All parties want to minimise wastage and gain efficiencies. People suggesting that early returns will not be allowed are totally misinformed.

      Keep reading the ANF newsletters and National Newsagent for information.

      And keep managing your magazines to suit your store.

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        • Newsagents participating in the MPA trial will not be able to early return as they will be managing their supply as part of the trial. Newsagent who are not in the trial are not affected and it is business as usual.

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    • Shaun, there are no ‘rules’established. The trial aims to examine the best way forward, test processes as noted in today’s post.
      No point having ‘rules’ or pre conceived ideas until the trial is complete.
      There have been many attempts to improve magazine supply and this trial involves ALL parties so no one can duck for cover; it will be transparent.

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      • So are you saying that the code of conduct states that early returns are allowed. This is a test for rules or “conduct” they want to implement isnt it.

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        • Newsagents participating in the MPA trial will not be able to early return as they will be managing their supply as part of the trial. Newsagent who are not in the trial are not affected and it is business as usual.

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  2. Hang on then – this means i am totally misinformed – the application specifically excludes the ability to do early returns unless a mistake has been made – are you suggesting that over supply is a mistake? The application is what we have to go by, nothing else.

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    • Newsagents participating in the MPA trial will not be able to early return as they will be managing their supply as part of the trial. Newsagent who are not in the trial are not affected and it is business as usual.

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  3. Shaun, here is a link for the trial proposed by the MPA to the ACCC – http://registers.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1183386/fromItemId/278039/display/application

    It clearly states that distributors are not required to accept early returns unless there has been an error in allocations.

    At the ACCC conference, I understand that ANF, Bauer and Gotch sat on one side of the table, and newagents who all opposed the trial sat on the other side of the table.

    The ANF is acting against the best interests of its members in this matter.

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    • Newsagents participating in the MPA trial will not be able to early return as they will be managing their supply as part of the trial. Newsagent who are not in the trial are not affected and it is business as usual.

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  4. Carolyn, if the trial is a deemed a success by the MPA then what ? Can’t they then implement these changes.
    If the MPA are on the same page as newsagents, could they not manage the supply correctly and still allow early returns.
    As the supply would be managed correctly, the need for early returns would be greatly reduced and hence not an issue.

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  5. yes, Cathy, as supply would be managed correctly, the need for early returns would be greatly reduced and hence not an issue; that is exactly the case.
    If the trial is a success and the trial newsagents are happy with the processes then that could be implemented more widely. If the need for early returns is demonstrated then one would think (I dont know as the trial hasn’t happened yet) that it will continue. It is all “if” . Let’s see what the trial proves and work on getting better systems.

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  6. Then the question has to be asked why the MPA need to add the “no early returns” into the trial.
    Sounds a little convenient for the MPA and not a positive for newsagents.

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  7. I think the MPA wants to prove that with supply based on sales’ history (no over supply) that there will be no need for early returns. Unless they test it in the trial nothing can be proved. Remember, it is a trial for the 20 newsagents and outcomes are yet to be found.

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    • The flip side to no need for early returns because supply is correct is that there is no need to take away the ability to early return if the supply is correct. I would also be very surprised if the mpa has not decided what the outcomes allready are. To say that it is just a trial is very niave. If it is just a trial, why did we not have some of the things we as a newsagent wants, ie no need to send back returns at all.

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      • I will post a ‘reply’ that covers all or most comments
        Firstly. It is great to have the feedback and the engagement.
        Secondly, I understand the suspicion and mistrust on the magazine supply issue – historically it has been, I will be polite, totally unacceptable.
        Thirdly, the ANF is aware of the history and the unconscionable practices of the past and is focusing on trying to improve the situation for newsagents by carefully and strategically working with the trial process and then be in a position to work with publisher/distributors to find a sustainable outcome.
        The ANF is fully aware of why and how distributors work to maintain their cash flows and what the publishers – big and small – have done to maintain their businesses, just as it is aware of the pressures on newsagents.
        How and why the 20 trial agents were chosen is noted in the first blog post and the findings are not just going to be imposed on the entire channel, a trial will investigate, measure, test different ways… and then the outcomes will be discussed and that is where the ANF will be in a position to be forceful about the change we need to see for newsagents.
        Why and how the XchangeIT data, for example, has not been used more effectively will obviously be part of the whole investigation.
        Note the definition of ‘early returns’: Early Returns means the return by a Retailer of a copy of an Issue to a Distributor, in the case of:
        a) a weekly, fortnightly or monthly Title, during the On-sale Period; and
        b) any other Title, within 30 days from the On-sale Date.

        After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

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    • So you are saying 20 mpa hand picked outlets are deciding the faite of the entire newsagency channel? If they believe the system will be so good and so accurate why would they need to take away early returns? They would only be used on odd occasions like when suppliers make errors.
      And who is going to enforce the rules on the mpa if they get it wrong. I have a call in currently with network which they took 2 weeks to respond and have now referred onto circulation to review. I have no indication of a timeframe to resolve. Clearly this is simply being slipped through without serious industry consultation and has serious potential to impact newsagents cashflow and viability. What will happen with AWW cook books that have years on the return date? What happens with annuals? Yet woolies and coles get to pick the cream on their terms. Why is this information only coming out now.

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      • I will post a ‘reply’ that covers all or most comments
        Firstly. It is great to have the feedback and the engagement.
        Secondly, I understand the suspicion and mistrust on the magazine supply issue – historically it has been, I will be polite, totally unacceptable.
        Thirdly, the ANF is aware of the history and the unconscionable practices of the past and is focusing on trying to improve the situation for newsagents by carefully and strategically working with the trial process and then be in a position to work with publisher/distributors to find a sustainable outcome.
        The ANF is fully aware of why and how distributors work to maintain their cash flows and what the publishers – big and small – have done to maintain their businesses, just as it is aware of the pressures on newsagents.
        How and why the 20 trial agents were chosen is noted in the first blog post and the findings are not just going to be imposed on the entire channel, a trial will investigate, measure, test different ways… and then the outcomes will be discussed and that is where the ANF will be in a position to be forceful about the change we need to see for newsagents.
        Why and how the XchangeIT data, for example, has not been used more effectively will obviously be part of the whole investigation.
        Note the definition of ‘early returns’: Early Returns means the return by a Retailer of a copy of an Issue to a Distributor, in the case of:
        a) a weekly, fortnightly or monthly Title, during the On-sale Period; and
        b) any other Title, within 30 days from the On-sale Date.

        After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

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    • I am not 100% understanding the programme here , Firstly during the trial they are having no early returns correct ? If so what “if” it is to be proven to be a great thing for the mag companies , and they make it a permanent part of the dealings with newsagents . It is going to be a bad day for newsagents if this ever happens . We can not trust the magazine companies to ever stick to an agreement that would include them setting a correct supply , they have all that is required right now to set the correct supplies in the form of Xchangit and they do not do a very good job at it . We need the ability to return anything we want when we want for what ever reason we want .I really think someone needs to run a survey and see what newsagents actually want .

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      • I will post a ‘reply’ that covers all or most comments
        Firstly. It is great to have the feedback and the engagement.
        Secondly, I understand the suspicion and mistrust on the magazine supply issue – historically it has been, I will be polite, totally unacceptable.
        Thirdly, the ANF is aware of the history and the unconscionable practices of the past and is focusing on trying to improve the situation for newsagents by carefully and strategically working with the trial process and then be in a position to work with publisher/distributors to find a sustainable outcome.
        The ANF is fully aware of why and how distributors work to maintain their cash flows and what the publishers – big and small – have done to maintain their businesses, just as it is aware of the pressures on newsagents.
        How and why the 20 trial agents were chosen is noted in the first blog post and the findings are not just going to be imposed on the entire channel, a trial will investigate, measure, test different ways… and then the outcomes will be discussed and that is where the ANF will be in a position to be forceful about the change we need to see for newsagents.
        Why and how the XchangeIT data, for example, has not been used more effectively will obviously be part of the whole investigation.
        Note the definition of ‘early returns’: Early Returns means the return by a Retailer of a copy of an Issue to a Distributor, in the case of:
        a) a weekly, fortnightly or monthly Title, during the On-sale Period; and
        b) any other Title, within 30 days from the On-sale Date.

        After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

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  8. Does the ANF understand that oversupply is driven not only through over supply of individual titles, but as much if not more through receiving more titles than can be displayed in the retail space available? This oversupply can NOT be regulated with new supply rules for the very simple reason that Gotch and Network are in competition for market share and even if they were willing to match supply (which I’m sure their not) it would be considered anticompetitive and jumped on by the ACCC as collusion. The distributors have to compete for shelf space, SO THEY HAVE TO OVERSUPPLY!
    This trail does nothing to address this because it cant. However if the trial is considered a success and is rolled out with no early returns newsagents will be left with stacks of magazines they physically can’t display. I’m sorry ANF that is exactly what is spelt out in the trail rules so you can assume it will be a central plank of any new contracts, otherwise what’s the point of the trial?

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    • I will post a ‘reply’ that covers all or most comments
      Firstly. It is great to have the feedback and the engagement.
      Secondly, I understand the suspicion and mistrust on the magazine supply issue – historically it has been, I will be polite, totally unacceptable.
      Thirdly, the ANF is aware of the history and the unconscionable practices of the past and is focusing on trying to improve the situation for newsagents by carefully and strategically working with the trial process and then be in a position to work with publisher/distributors to find a sustainable outcome.
      The ANF is fully aware of why and how distributors work to maintain their cash flows and what the publishers – big and small – have done to maintain their businesses, just as it is aware of the pressures on newsagents.
      How and why the 20 trial agents were chosen is noted in the first blog post and the findings are not just going to be imposed on the entire channel, a trial will investigate, measure, test different ways… and then the outcomes will be discussed and that is where the ANF will be in a position to be forceful about the change we need to see for newsagents.
      Why and how the XchangeIT data, for example, has not been used more effectively will obviously be part of the whole investigation.
      Note the definition of ‘early returns’: Early Returns means the return by a Retailer of a copy of an Issue to a Distributor, in the case of:
      a) a weekly, fortnightly or monthly Title, during the On-sale Period; and
      b) any other Title, within 30 days from the On-sale Date.

      After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

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        • 1. ANF understands the supply issues very well and that competition between Network and Gotch leads to excessive supply of titles beyond the newsagents capacity to display – thus we need a Code of Conduct that is accepted industry-wide to prevent this, thus the trial to prove a few points and implement new rules.

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          • Nationalnewsagent, I see nothing in the MPA trial rules that will address this issue. There are rules around stopping non selling titles but nothing stopping one title being replaced with another as is presently the case when titles are stopped. If the ANF believes the proposed trial supply trial will address this then I would ask the ANF to specifically spell out which of the proposed rules achieve this.
            I also take issue with your continuing to state “Newsagent participating in the trial will not be able to early return as they will be managing their supply as part of the trial. Newsagents who are not in the trial are not affected and it is business as usual” and “the findings are not just going to be imposed on the entire channel, a trial will investigate, measure, test different ways… and then the outcome will be discussed and that is where the ANF will be in a position to be forceful about the change we need to see for newsagents”
            I would like you to explain your comments in relation to the proposed MPA trial. In particular this statement contained in the application to the ACCC from the MPA (MPA MPA Magazine distribution code), drafted by Andrews and Holm lawyers dated 14/11/2014. In section 4 it is stated and I quote “The pilot will also be a “Proof of Concept” that will assist in getting necessary stakeholder support for an industry wide code of conduct which, if this is subsequently agreed is proposed to apply generally across the Australian magazine publication and distribution industries”.
            These are not interim rules for a small scale trial with the real rules to be sorted out later as the ANF seems to believe. They are the rules the MPA wants to impose and they consider the trial a proof of concept before implementing them. Is the ANF even aware of what this trial proposes?

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            • Hi Steve,
              We may have to disagree on this, as although the MPA will implement a trial to determine if their concept that better controlled supply will solve the returns issue, that is yet to be proved, and ‘stakeholders’ – the main ones being newsagents – will have to agree on any new Code.
              If the MPA had already decided what they were going to do then they wouldn’t have a trial at all!
              The trial is to test better ways. End of story, until we have results.

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              • I’m just stating what’s printed in black and white. The ANF seems to believe in a lot of things I haven’t seen in any document relating to this trial. Is the ANF privileged to information not in the public domain or are they just living in hope?

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                • Steve, in any negotiations, there are details that are kept confidential. Our members are aware that the ANF is working in their best interests and at the end of the trial will be pressing their case most strongly.

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          • I think you need to read and understand the rules around the trial. There is no mention of a cap on the total number of titles a newsagent can receive, in-fact the opposite is true that in trying to delete a title it’s performance has to be non-existent for an extended period and even then it can be re-introduced after 12 months. If the rules only apply to the trial why is this rule even in the trial?
            The one newsagent who is in the trial who was at the ACCC conference even mentioned she was not briefed on the rules of the trial.

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            • Hi Bill,
              Please understand that this is a trial. It is to test concepts. And the results will reveal the real issues and only then will decisions be made about changes to magazine supply.

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  9. Carolyn & National Newsagent

    As stated by others the submission to the ACCC by the MPA and supported by the ANF clearly states that early returns are not allowed except where there is a error .

    If the rules of the trial become reality for all Newsagents , how do you expect we will be able to prove what’s an error and what’s not . We receive 100s of titles per week you have no idea as to the work involved in trying to control our accounts by trying to prove oversupply of a title is an error.

    To state that Newsagents who are not in the trial can early return. Is that meant to calm the majority of newsagents over this issue ?

    Are you saying there are no rules or whatever you want to call it ?

    Are you saying that if this trial is successful and the ACCC signs of on it that we will live in a perfect world of magazine supply ?

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    • I will post a ‘reply’ that covers all or most comments
      Firstly. It is great to have the feedback and the engagement.
      Secondly, I understand the suspicion and mistrust on the magazine supply issue – historically it has been, I will be polite, totally unacceptable.
      Thirdly, the ANF is aware of the history and the unconscionable practices of the past and is focusing on trying to improve the situation for newsagents by carefully and strategically working with the trial process and then be in a position to work with publisher/distributors to find a sustainable outcome.
      The ANF is fully aware of why and how distributors work to maintain their cash flows and what the publishers – big and small – have done to maintain their businesses, just as it is aware of the pressures on newsagents.
      How and why the 20 trial agents were chosen is noted in the first blog post and the findings are not just going to be imposed on the entire channel, a trial will investigate, measure, test different ways… and then the outcomes will be discussed and that is where the ANF will be in a position to be forceful about the change we need to see for newsagents.
      Why and how the XchangeIT data, for example, has not been used more effectively will obviously be part of the whole investigation.
      Note the definition of ‘early returns’: Early Returns means the return by a Retailer of a copy of an Issue to a Distributor, in the case of:
      a) a weekly, fortnightly or monthly Title, during the On-sale Period; and
      b) any other Title, within 30 days from the On-sale Date.

      After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

      Like

  10. why do they need a trial to not oversupply newsagents? They have all the data they need thru X Change it now to get the figures right, If the trial is deemed a success then the same conditions of the trial will flow thru to everyone and if the anf could possibly read these conditions of the trial they will see like the rest of us who have read them newsagents will have a lot worse terms than they currently have. None of us are early returning magazines to sell less but are grossly oversupplied

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    • I will post a ‘reply’ that covers all or most comments
      Firstly. It is great to have the feedback and the engagement.
      Secondly, I understand the suspicion and mistrust on the magazine supply issue – historically it has been, I will be polite, totally unacceptable.
      Thirdly, the ANF is aware of the history and the unconscionable practices of the past and is focusing on trying to improve the situation for newsagents by carefully and strategically working with the trial process and then be in a position to work with publisher/distributors to find a sustainable outcome.
      The ANF is fully aware of why and how distributors work to maintain their cash flows and what the publishers – big and small – have done to maintain their businesses, just as it is aware of the pressures on newsagents.
      How and why the 20 trial agents were chosen is noted in the first blog post and the findings are not just going to be imposed on the entire channel, a trial will investigate, measure, test different ways… and then the outcomes will be discussed and that is where the ANF will be in a position to be forceful about the change we need to see for newsagents.
      Why and how the XchangeIT data, for example, has not been used more effectively will obviously be part of the whole investigation.
      Note the definition of ‘early returns’: Early Returns means the return by a Retailer of a copy of an Issue to a Distributor, in the case of:
      a) a weekly, fortnightly or monthly Title, during the On-sale Period; and
      b) any other Title, within 30 days from the On-sale Date.

      After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

      Like

  11. Carolyn early returns are our only control newsagents have on what supplied and what we have to pay each month. The conditions of the trial do little to improve our situation, A 55% sell thru rate, 12 week minimum hold on magazines. Will the ANF strongly push for these 2 conditions to be changed regardless of the outcome of the trial?

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    • Adrian, the ANF will push for any conditions that will make things better for newsagents.
      After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

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  12. I would encourage all newsagents to log into the ACCC website and read the rules for the pilot themselves and then see how they apply to your business. The MPA does not represent all publishers only the big three. From the conference, Bauer is leading the change. This is scary, as the latest two changes they have implemented have been a mess. Their EDI and invoicing changes are a regressive step for newsagents and the consolidation of delivery days was promised an even split of deliveries between the 2 days. Two thirds of magazines are now delivered on the longest and busiest day of the week. Another regressive step. How can Bauer be trusted to get this right? Any trial implementing the principles of category management would start with range, space and sales. There is no mention of a cap on the number of titles that can be distributed, and a 4 tiered sales efficiency where the bottom tier is as low as 25% in a nonsense, given their access to daily scan data.
    The ANF has failed in doing the proper research on this proposal before backing it….sorry I forgot the ANF CEO mentioned something is better than nothing. The devil is in the detail.

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    • After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.

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  13. The issue of no early returns IN THE TRIAL, in my opinion, is being blown way out of proportion. It makes perfect sense not to allow early returns IN THE TRIAL as if one of the 20 newsagents IN THE TRIAL did early return magazines and sold out then results would be mostly meaningless.

    My reading of it all is, if the trial is successful and implemented across the newsagency network then early returns would be allowed. However, with the new “system” newsagents would not receive over supply like we currently do and therefore the amount of magazines we would want to early return would be much less. Am I wrong??

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    • Dean,

      Your are correct in that if newsagents do not receive excessive supplies then the need to early return would be much less. The trial will try to establish just what are the ‘correct processes to get the right supply’.

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    • If you read the rules of the trial there is a proposal for a 4 tiered system on sales efficiency starting at 25%, that’s 4 times your sales. Tell me that’s not over supply. There is nothing in these rules that suggest oversupply will be fixed. The only quantifiable objective was an 11 million reduction in magazines versus the 360 million distributed or in other words a 3% reduction.
      How many newsagents are only over supplied 3%?

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  14. If this article http://mumbrella.com.au/magazine-body-disputes-claim-distribution-changes-will-leave-newsagents-uncompetitive-290998 is true then it appears that the trial may be heading in the right direction. Not completely there yet, but better than the ANF endorsed version.

    If only the ANF worked for newsagents then you might have been able to achieve something, instead of the dog’s breakfast you supported against the best interests and wishes of newsagents.

    Then again with the poor communication from the ANF, no-one knew about this trial except it was brought to the attention of everyone by someone else other than our industry body.

    Maybe with all the criticism you have received, you have been listening and will start to represent newsagents from now on.

    I doubt it though, I suspect all we will continue to hear is a defence of your actions, instead of admission that you were wrong and that others took a stand against you to protect the best interests of the industry.

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  15. The ANF communicates thoroughly with its members.

    Please note the definition of trial

    “test (something, especially a new product) to assess its suitability or performance”.
    “a test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something”

    When the trial has concluded you may like to make a comment on actual outcomes

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    • Given the importance of this trial and the poor history the distributors have in executing change, this response is very disappointing.

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    • As an ANF member I disagree with your claim that the ANF communicates thoroughly with its members.

      I find out more information about what is happening in our industry at this website http://www.newsagencyblog.com.au/ than I get from any ANF communication. The information is more detailed, more timely and more useful.

      I think if you look at the communication that is on this website, http://www.newsagencyblog.com.au/ and also what newsagents said at the ACCC conference, no-one can be in any doubt that newsagents support whatever is needed to improve the magazine model. Its just that everyone except for the ANF understands that the proposed trial in its current format is not the answer.

      If we could only get the ANF to understand this, but sadly, no they don’t.

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    • While your giving us a lesson in the English language would nationalnewsagent care to give a definition of “Proof of Concept”

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  16. There are many definitions of Proof of Concept but here is one;

    A proof of concept (POC) is a demonstration, the purpose of which is to verify that certain concepts or theories have the potential for real-world application. POC is therefore a prototype that is designed to determine feasibility, but does not represent deliverables.

    All definitions indicate it is testing a concept to see if it works.
    Obviously of it doesn’t work, the concept is not proven and a new concept has to be put forward.

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  17. I’m not commenting here anymore. You would have received my application to join the ANF today and my cover letter outlining my disappointment at the ANF’s lack of communication. I also assume you can use a phone.

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  18. This is the funniest bit of the whole conversation,
    National Newsagent said “After the trial nothing will be implemented without the express communication from all ANF members. No Code can be implemented without this happening. It cannot be enforced unless the industry backs it.”
    The magazine distributors are NOT going to wait for all ANF members to back a change before implementing it. They will (as always) do what they wish. If they deem the trial a success it will become the industry standard. How will we as newsagents stop them ? The industry is not even backing the trial, the ANF is, but not the industry. The trial should not go ahead in the current form.

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    • The ANF is working with the MPA rather than opposing them to ensure the ANF does have a ‘seat at the table’ and is in a position to ensure change to benefit newsagents does happen.
      As you will know, to this point no one has been able to make significant improvements to what everyone recognises is an unconscionable and unsustainable system. By working with all the parties involved in magazine supply there is a greater chance that bigger changes than have ever happened before can occur.
      Unless new ways are trialed, nothing will change.

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  19. I think a key problem here is that the ANF have gone into Bat for newsagents without (to my understanding) asking any of its members their thoughts . At some stage someone somewhere sat with someone to come up with this trial but as far as I can see there was no communication until all was set and done .

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    • I think the ANF is well aware from its members and the history of magazine allocations what needs to be done. The ANF has been to the ACCC before about unconscionable conduct of magazine publisher/distributors.
      The difference now is that the stars have aligned… because of falling magazine sales, newsagents cutting their magazine shelf space and almost giving up on magazines as an unprofitable sector, the publishers and distributors have at last realised they are in trouble and THEY now want to improve the system that newsagents have long complained about. Until the suppliers of the products actually WANTED to work towards fixing it, nothing could ever change. Now is the chance to create a process that will work for all parties because all parties have a will to fix.
      Newsagents are part of the trial, they are not stupid, they will be having their say just as all ANF members will have a chance to have their say when the trial is ended. Hopefully, then new processes will see magazines again become a profitable category for all. We may just have to give the trial a chance and then have a say.

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  20. It is very disappointing to listen to the jargon being written about the problems of the magazine distribution industry. Each part of this industry has their own perspective on what they desire from the outcomes of
    the ACCC and the trial.
    Let’s keep it simple for everyone to understand.
    The average newsagency now works with approx. 750 pockets for mags (some more some less but the benchmark for us is now 750).
    If our returns ratio is 53-57% across the board then clearly, there is a problem from the newsagents’ point
    of view.
    If we early return mags because of room restrictions or inability to sell (our call surely) then the publishers have a problem.
    If we demand xchangeit use our information as it was intended (to control our supplies by giving our sales figures daily, to the distributors it would result in a much smaller distribution base which would then be of
    no interest to the distributors.
    So the real questions should be HOW TO BENEFIT EACH OF THESE PARTIES.
    Less product means less distribution and could mean less sales.
    This is a real dilemma folks and someone (probably the newsagents) won’t win.
    The answer, of course, is negotiation and compromise.
    So ANF your job, and your sole mission and reason for existence is to negotiate and compromise with the two parties THAT YOU DO NOT REPRESENT to ensure a reasonable outcome for newsagents.

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  21. You are quite correct June; that is the dilemma and that is why a solution is not simple. Publishers and distributors could be negatively impacted by proposed changes – in some case they may lose, but will have to make some hard decisions to improve the system or they may lose out in the end as newsagents drift to other products. Every party will have to compromise and it is the ANF’s job to fight for its members and get the best outcome possible. The ANF does not ‘represent’ the publishers and distributors but needs to have a seat at the table as it is vital that all parts of this ‘problem’ participate.

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