With every issue of my favorite magazines I get more angry. Since Roy Reiman sold his entire company to Readers Digest in April of 2002, Roy’s promise back in 1970 has been forgotten. His promise was "A good magazine, with no advertising." I bought into that hook line and sinker. He did it, his company was successful.
I loved their "family" of publications. In the 1980′s when I was looking for magazines to put in the cottages at the resort, Country Woman, and Farm and Ranch Living joined The Minnesota Conservation Volunteer as my favorites to share with my clients. Simple well written fare, with marvelous photographs and no distracting ads.
Later I subscribed to more of Roy’s magazines, adding Country, Country Extra, Reminisce, Reminisce Extra, Birds and Blooms, Birds and Blooms Extra, Taste of Home and finally Back Yard Living. Ten of their publications, I loved them, I loved that there were no ads. I was a tad irritated when they began to stuff the plastic sleeves with junk ads but at least I could deal with them once, and be done with it. I did not have to look at ads every time I turned a page.
It didn’t take Readers Digest long to introduce advertising into the "family." First only an ad or two here and there. I wrote to them, and said simply "I do not appreciate your ads." I received a form letter..stating that due to the increased printing and postage costs, ads appearing in the magazine were one way to compensate instead of raising the subscription price, and the ads would be well chosen.
Last week my Farm and Ranch Living showed up, as did my copy of Country..with even more ads. I sent emails to them. I will not be renewing the majority of my subscriptions with them anymore. I will keep Farm and Ranch Living, and Far Guy really likes to read Reminisce. The others are history.
I hope that the leadership at Readers Digest finds that the worthless tacky ads were worth it. I hope that they have recouped the 760 Million that they paid for Roy’s magazines. If they go belly up..I can’t say I will be sorry. They bought out a good solid company with a broad customer base, then they advertised themselves right out of customers. That was one heck of a sorry business plan.
To tell you the truth, I hate all forms of advertising. If the Drug Companies spent as much on research and development as they do on ads we would have a cure for Cancer by now. If the big three car companies spent their ad budget on developing affordable alternative fuel vehicles they wouldn’t need a bail out.
This time of year I am particularly irritated by all the ads.. perfume.. liquor.. diamonds..beer..the luxury car with the huge red bow…all meaningless ads to me, I don’t feel compelled at all to run out and buy anything in those ads. Perhaps I am a bit of a Scrooge, however I would like to hear "I ‘d like to buy the world a coke" a few more times. That one did inspire me to become a loyal Coke customer:)