Friday, 8 September 2023

The Last Campaign


I’ve been reading Campaign for more years than the 30 on this anniversary issue from 1998. My  introduction to the British ad industry’s rag was in my first job, working in the market research department of Spillers Foods. 

The trade magazines were divvied up amongst the market research department to scour for articles of interest. The most senior and glamorous of us got Campaign, the middle-ranking execs got Marketing and Marketing Week, and yours truly, the trainee, got The Grocer

I loved Campaign - it presented a fabulous world of creativity, eccentricity, wit and wisdom that I couldn’t get enough of.

Once I started working at Saatchi, the magazine was still read avidly and woe-betide anyone that snatched the Group Account Director’s copy before they’d had a chance to look at it.

I’ve had a subscription to Campaign for the 20 years I’ve been freelancing. While it’s been useful to keep in touch with the UK ad scene, I have to say that my interest has waned. Concurrently, the price of the thing has rocketed, even though it has gone 100% digital, which should save costs, by my logic.

From 2021 to last year, the price of my subscription rocketed +172%, and a further price hike of over 50% came this year. 

Campaign still has a few good articles and thought pieces - and I tend to then look up the authors and stalk, sorry, follow them on LinkedIn. But I’m afraid much of it falls into the Reinventing the past category for me.

With those ludicrous price hikes, I’ve come to the conclusion that Campaign has lost its value in terms of being informative, useful or entertaining. Money that can be better spent.

And there seem to be one or two alternatives that won’t break the bank.

So, cheerio, Campaign. Nice knowing you.

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