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AP...falling to Bits!

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by IvorCamera, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    We have to be realistic. Sometimes there will be problems with printing and binding. The printers no doubt print and bind many titles using different papers. We as photographers are awkward buggers. Sure kick ass when they don't set up right but also give 'em a break when they are under pressure. I previously referred to a title from a different publisher, but the publication to which I referred was Radio Times. The print run is enormous compared to AP. I expect that they can fiddle with settings to get things right for the time allotted for AP's whole print.

    Now to advertising. The magazine needs advertising to survive. The stuff at the back is fine. We know what to expect. If you are looking for something or just getting the view of the market, then you get a good view by flicking a few pages instead of spending 15 minutes on this interweb thingy.

    But what about the stuff in the middle, amongst the editorial, and what one expects to be the most expensive. There we see a huge range of what might be successful and what is just an irritating counter productive down market mess. Does anyone advise these guys and their advertising agents?

    Lee does a very subtle advert which doesn't shout. Most people would not give it a second glance. But the people who might buy filters will certainly notice. They also will notice who made the classy image using their filter. That advert is targeted precisely at the potential customer of the product. Good advert? I think yes.

    Tamron and Sigma sometimes show a photograph made with one of their lenses. Again good targeting. I want to make photographs like that.

    Another company advertising Scandinavian cruises gives us a pretty, but not great picture, overprinted with brash text. It might be ok for a down market newspaper or magazine but for the discerning AP readership a total disaster. Its not good for them and it isn't good for us the readers.

    Advertising features. I have complained in the past because they were not stated as such. For the last year or two(or maybe longer) they have been so advertised, so that's ok. They are also good informative reading, and often as good as the editorial. Good advert? Again I think yes.

    I like good adverts but detest the crap and some companies are wasting their money, but with advice on the readership of the magazines they might gain business, and entertain the readership. The providers of bad adverts might actually have a good product.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  2. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    It ought not to be so, john. The substantial reduction in fuel costs over two years & the more recent falls in energy prices in the UK should be a great blessing to UK magazines. They should be experiencing real savings all the way down the post-production print chain, increasingly so as time goes on.

    Cover price reductions and/or increased pagination should follow for the consumer. Cheers, Oly
  3. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I have read this through twice, and think I understand some of it. What I cannot be sure of is whether you like adverts in between editorial pages or not. Personally, apart from the insides/outsides of the covers, I believe adverts should be kept in an advertising section; there are too many in the editorial pages.

    As for the number of pages in any edition, there used to be 92 including covers, now there are only 84. Also, the magazine appears to be thinner, almost as if thinner paper is being used.

    As previously said, I do not regularly buy the magazine any more, due to lack of interesting features (to me, anyway), but the ones I have bought recently have not fallen apart (hooray!).
  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I do not mind relevant good quality advertorial provided it is labelled as such. It has been properly labelled for some time. I do not like adverts which detract from the excellent house qualities of the magazine. My message to advertisers who do not match the qualities of the magazine is that their advert is counterproductive; I will not buy their product. To those who do appropriate quality advertising my message is if I am in the market for such a product then you are on my shortlist.
  5. LesTele

    LesTele Well-Known Member

    As long as the magazine is cheaper than one pint of beer it's a steal (Scottish rural prices).

    If it's dearer than pint of beer, then it would still be value for money.

    I have no interest in wildlife photography, macro or video. I still buy AP every week.

    It's a good read.

    I bought my first issues as a student in 1980. Thankfully, by that time, I knew what a member of the opposite sex looked like unclothed.

    If I hadn't, AP at that time would have helped.
  6. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Well, I've just opened the April 2 edition and the middle pages have come adrift. That's it. I'm no longer paying 3 quid for a weekly that falls apart as soon as you look at it.:mad:
    Someone really needs to get a grip on this as it seems to be an ongoing issue.
    Rant over.
  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    In the past I have complained about the stitching. And in recent months it has improved.
    my copy of th 2nd April edition is holding the pages firmly in place, and while the stitchers have some variation in their setting, one to another, there is no obvious problem.
    I am afraid that we probably must expect the odd centre fold to tear through. Especially on the thin crisp coated papers used in magazine reproduction these days.

    I noticed a few months ago that the binders did an experiment with a glue line on the centre signature. But though highly effective it would seem a rather expensive proposition, and only practical with certain paginations.

    I am sure that the AP staff are watching the situation , and doing what is possible.
    It seems that you were just unlucky this time round....
  8. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Could it be anything to do with this week's edition being only 76 pages including covers, a reduction of 8 pages over what has become the normal 84 pages of the last few months?

    Having said that, my centre pages seem secure enough. It has improved since the addition of an extra staple, introduced a few months ago.
  9. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    My copy is fine. Thank you AP
  10. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera In the Stop Bath

    As the person who started this thread the adverts do not really get in the way of the rest of the magazine in fact I enjoy some of them except the ones about video, I am just not into movies and in fact I have only ever switched to movie mode once since having this mode on my camera but its nice to know that it is there if ever I need it! and yes the loose pages are still sometimes a issue! other than that I still think that A.P. is a good read compared to some of the other mags on the market!.........
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Advertising has always been an essential part of magazine publishing.
    in my early AP reading days in th 50s, personal small adds took up many pages, and I would read every one in hope of a bargain.

    To day most publications relying exclusively on Ink on paper, are in the throes of almost certain terminal decline. Those that can get the balance right might survive in some form.

    Th AP and sister publications seems to be exploring their options and are certainly in the process of moving down the more obvious routes of synergy, downsizing and reduction of overheads.
    The least easy aspect of a progressive and variable reduction in readership, is control of the contract costs and volume of the print run. This inevitably results in changes in production processes to those more suitable to a particular run length.
  12. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    At times the decline has been self-inflicted. I remember when people would buy AP just for the Classified Advertisements, so they said! ;) To be fair, you would see the back of the magazine being as carefully scrutinised as the glamour photography. Some considerable time ago, a 'suit' in the Accounting Dept of AP's holding company decided it was a good idea to charge £18+ for a Classified. Inevitably, the numbers of ads declined as other magazines offered short form Classifieds for free or at cover price cost. Looking at Benns Media or equivalent and you could match the decline in sales to the decline in Classifieds. For sure, other factors were at work as well. Increases in Fuel Duties hit the industry hard. Paper cost from Scandinavia tended be ever increasing & was vulnerable to unfavourable currency exchange.

    Which leaves something of a puzzle. There were, until recently, more photo magazines available in the UK than in the 'boom' of the 1970s & 1980s. Their staff rosters are impressive, too. In the 1960s/70s, SLR Camera operated with less than a handful of staff. Not many monthlies do that now.

    Then there's the content . . . . .
  13. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    never.... they just wanted to read Ricardo......
  14. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    My digital version is always delivered in bits, and it causes me not the least inconvenience. :D
    Watson Lavery likes this.
  15. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Yes but I bet the pages don't fall out of the tablet
  16. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    You must be going back to around 1955 and, if I remember correctly, there were better "bits" in Health & Efficiency.
  17. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember that, in the early 1980s, the first half of the magazine was all adverts, with the editorial content occupying the second half. Personally, I preferred What Camera Weekly to AP in those days, a magazine which AP's owners eventually bought and shut down!
    I will never forget those Jessops adverts from those days, taking up at least 2 full pages of very small type, so small in fact that occasionally AP supplied a credit card sized magnifier to read the advert with! I think I still have one somewhere.......
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Me, too! I mentioned it to Roger on his Wallace Heaton Blue Book Thread. Think we could be in for a burst of serious nostalgia on here this weekend. Cheers, Oly
  19. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Actually, I was refering to the time when AP was still edited by Reggie Mason but was about to hand over to Martin 'Land Rovers or Glamour' Hodder in the late 1970s. I also remember my Dad bringing home a copy of a 1972 or 1973 AP that had a glorious photo of our local park in the colour section in the middle. Over the page was selection of female nudes. He was teased for several days about that. The ads at the back did help to set me on the downward path to an SLR a few years later. Think I still have the magazine in a small AP archive. Cheers, Oly
  20. Watson Lavery

    Watson Lavery Member

    I also drift in and out of subscribing and usually return when I'm about to buy something new. (I also tend to drift in and out of reading the BJP but for different reasons). Most recently I have been using the video function on my DSLR and returned to AP for a review of the video capabilities of the X-Pro2 (and bought a Sony a6300 instead partly thanks to the AP review). I take an opposite view on video to yours though. Most recent stills cameras have a good quality video function, and several camera clubs run a video competition. Professional photography now embraces video in all its forms, as it embraced digital when that came out. If we amateurs didnt embrace change we'd still be in dark rooms processing glass plates, and if AP had stuck to one narrow format they'd wouldn't have survived for so long.

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