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> issue#12

oct 2005



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> issue#12

OCT 2005

welcome... TO THE 12th EDITION OF COMMUNICATOR. In my last welcome, I mentioned that we were promised a heat wave this summer, and for the most part, that’s what we’ve had. It’s not often that the weather forecasters are right, especially when they’re talking about the long-term, so I hope you all made the most of it. Talking of the future…this issue we’ve got a cracking piece on how two of the world’s most influential companies are tackling the green issue. GE is just embarking on it, whilst Shell has been well and truly entrenched for a while now. Go to page 16 to find out more. Other highlights in this issue include finding out how two of our newest employees are settling in, discovering who is behind the Moth, a magazine for de Havilland Moth enthusiasts and gaining an insight into a week in the life at McNaughton Group. Perhaps the most remarkable story is the rise of the Admiral Group, and how they became Welsh Company of The Year after only starting up in business in 1992. As always, I look forward to hearing from you, so please drop me a line if you have any comments or suggestions for the next edition or your magazine.


Sharon Tovey, group Marketing Manager, Stephens & George Ltd. 04-06 working for fun. Admiral Group Plc describes how the company keeps their staff so content.

Print S&G Magazines. Goat Mill Road Dowlais Merthyr Tydfil CF48 3TD Telephone: +44 (0)1685 388888 Facsimile:

08-09 for better or worse... Magazine distributors await decisions from the Office of Fair Trading - but will it really be fair?

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12-13 favini new range to bear fruit. Paper made out of oranges? Seriously.

Black Sheep 103 Bute Street Cardiff CF10 5AD Telephone: +44 (0)29 2049 0722 Facsimile: +44 (0)29 2049 0723 Email:

14-15 wooden wonders. Wooden wonders light up the grey skies at Woburn.


16-19 ge imagines a greener future. GE's tackles the green issue.

paper sponsored by: james mcnaughton group

20-21 21st century mail. Royal Mail looks at the marketing environment and the space that's left for direct mail.

24-26 a week in the life of... The James McNaughton Group - A company with a thirst for communications.


Smirnoff Ice starts ‘cool’ radio push

Aegis-owned media agency Carat has negotiated a sixfigure deal with a string of UK radio stations to promote a special offer for alcopop brand Smirnoff Ice. The stations - Galaxy in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, plus Radio City in Liverpool and Xfm in London - will hold on-air competitions for listeners to win a rack of prizes associated with the Smirnoff Ice brand. The package is part of a major marketing push by Smirnoff Ice, worth around £1m. Krane Jeffrey, sponsorship manager at Carat Sponsorship, said:

channel 4 celebrates lost opener

“This campaign is key to raising awareness and generating excitement about the on-pack mini fridge giveaway promotion which took place around the August Bank Holiday - a crucial sales period for Smirnoff Ice." “The stations being used were selected for their delivery of - and synergy with - our core target audience of socially active men.” The prizes include mini-breaks to Stockholm, Salzburg and Geneva, plus branded fridges and bottles of Smirnoff Ice.

Channel 4’s aggressive marketing strategy and the gushing of TV reviewers saw the opening episode of new drama Lost pull in record ratings for a US import. In a double header to launch the first two episodes of the series, placed either side of Big Brother, Lost was watched by an average of 6.1 million viewers and 5.9 million respectively. Ratings for the first 60minute slot of the show, starring a raft of implausibly well-groomed characters attempting to pull themselves together after a devastating plane crash on a remote island, achieved the highest number of viewers for the debut of US drama.

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The 6.1 million viewers eclipsed that of the 4.6 million that tuned in for the opener of Desperate Housewives earlier this year. Channel 4 will also be celebrating after audience share figures came in at 26.8% and 27.2% for the two programmes. Channel 4’s Director of Acquisitions, Jeff Ford, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the huge success of these ratings. There is obviously a large appetite for innovative and distinctive quality drama.” The third episode of the show, aired on Channel 4’s digital station E4 and attracted 1.5 million

Com’muni,cator > issue#11

viewers, a 16% share of the audience. Tom Toumazis, executive vice president & managing director EMEA, Buena Vista International Television said: “After Channel 4’s success with Desperate Housewives, we are delighted that they have another hit, watercooler show on their hands, after their superb launch campaign. “Lost has been extremely well-received across the world, where it has been a ratings hit without exception, and our fastestever selling show.”


Future joins Su Doku craze

Bath-based magazine group Future jumped on the Su Doku bandwagon at the end of August and launched its own monthly magazine for fans of the Japanese number game. The group published the 68-page Total Su Doku from 25 August and the first edition had a print run of 38,000 copies. The launch came three months after rival publisher H Bauer unveiled Su Doku Selection to coincide with the reams of publicity that appeared in the media about the latest puzzle craze. Bauer’s aggressive launch strategy saw it produce around 100,000 copies for the first edition of the title.

Robbie signs for T-Mobile

Future’s puzzles and games portfolio will produce the magazine alongside existing titles such as Puzzle Monthly, Logical Challenge and Portable Puzzles’ Arrows. Justine Wall, publisher of Future’s puzzle portfolio, said: “Su Doku is the biggest puzzle craze since the Rubik’s cube way back in the 1980s and everyone is talking about it, many doing the puzzle on the commute to work or at lunch time. “Total Su Doku will do its bit to satisfy the needs of puzzle junkies each month.”

Phone giant T-Mobile has signed a major deal with Robbie Williams to become the singer’s sponsorship partner for the next 18 months. The deal will include sponsorship of live performances and mobile music coverage to coincide with the next stage of the former Take That star’s phenomenally successful solo career. Most significantly will be the inclusion of live streaming to mobile phones from concerts and full-track downloads. T-Mobile will also provide opportunities for fans to “get close to Robbie” through a series of

promotions such as tickets, hospitality, backstage tours and after-show parties. Phil Chapman, UK marketing director for T-Mobile, said: “Partnering with a global star such as Robbie Williams while creating a unique experience for his fans, truly demonstrates our commitment to strengthening the relationship between music and mobile technology." “Our goal is to make mobile music accessible, exclusive and enjoyable, which is why partnering with the biggest artist in Europe is a great fit.”

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Justin Beddows, Assistant Communications Manager at Admiral Group plc, describes how the company keeps their staff so content - the key to the company’s continued success? Let me begin with an apology. What follows is an unashamed boast, a brag about the company I work for, a company that I and 90% of my colleagues are proud to work for, a company called Admiral Group plc. The last twelve months have been amazing for Admiral. In September we floated on the London Stock Exchange, instantly becoming the highest valued company based in Wales. In November we were named the Business of the Year at the National Business Awards in London, the ‘Oscars’ of the business world. In March we came 20th in the Sunday Times list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, the sixth year running we have made the list. In May we became Welsh Company of the Year at the Welsh Business Awards, the first company to win the award twice. And in July we were named Employer of the Year for Wales and the West at the regional finals of the National Business Awards. We’ll have to wait until November before we know if we’ve won the UK-wide award for this last category, but Admiral is a company used to winning, so there will be a lot of disappointed people if we don’t. Being a good employer lies at the heart of our company philosophy. We believe strongly that happy staff, who enjoy what they do, do it better and this is transferred on to our customers and ultimately our shareholders. But what makes Admiral a good employer? It’s not just a matter of giving staff money or perks; it’s more to do with making work a fun and happy place to be. For those of you who don’t know Admiral, let me tell you a bit about our history. Admiral launched in January 1992 as a direct response car insurer, in the same vein as Direct Line. The man behind Admiral is American-born Henry

Engelhardt; he was behind the launch of another direct insurer, Churchill, several years before. Henry, who is still our CEO, went out to look for a place to set up the new company. He contacted development agencies up and down the land. The only one to reply was the Welsh Development Agency (WDA). Henry came to Cardiff, liked what he saw (and what the WDA was offering) and the rest is now part of Welsh history.

In May we became Welsh Company of the Year at the Welsh Business Awards When we launched we had no customers, one brand and 57 members of staff. Today we have well over one million customers, six brands and 1,700 members of staff. They all work at our two sites in Cardiff and Swansea. So back to our company philosophy, how do we make our workforce one of the happiest in Wales? Here are just some of our golden rules: 1. Make work fun Call centres can be stressful places to work; we try to make ours a happy place. We even have a Ministry of Fun (MOF) at Admiral. The MOF organises competitions, events, theme days and parties. Each month a different department takes over control of the MOF, this ensures the ideas remain fresh and gives everyone the chance to have a say in what we do in work. One of the most popular events the MOF staged recently was egg roulette. 24 people, including senior managers took part. Competitors faced each other with a box of eggs, five hard-boiled one raw. They then took it in turns to smash an egg on their opponents head, the winner being the one who survived without egg on their face!

Some of the other fun events the MOF has organised recently are a dress up Friday (Admiral has a relaxed dress policy, so this was our chance to come to work wearing our finest), 4th July American theme day, in honour of Henry’s roots and our own version of the Grand National with ‘jockeys’ riding hobby horses over the jumps around our office. 2. Give staff a sense of ownership In September 2004, Admiral Group became a plc when the company floated on the stock market. All members of staff who started working at Admiral prior to the announcement received units in a staff Unit Share Trust. These were allocated on the basis of length of service, seniority and to those who have performed particularly well or shown extra effort. At the time of the flotation over 1,400 members of staff had shares in the company. The total value of the trust was £56 million and the average value of shares staff received was £39,000 per person.

The reason Henry Engelhardt and the other directors decided to be so generous was to say thank you to everyone here who contributed to making Admiral a success over the years and to give us all a sense of ownership in the company. If we perform well then the value of the shares increases and we are all better off. 3. Keep a small-company attitude Although Admiral has grown beyond recognition from the little insurance company that launched in 1992, we try to keep the same small-company feel. We have several brands within the group. As well as Admiral we have Diamond,, Bell, Gladiator Commercial and Each brand operates as a separate business; they each have their own identity, their own managing director and their own way of doing things. Within each brand there are small teams each headed by a team manager. These teams remain loyal to each other and foster that smallcompany attitude.

We also believe that smaller groups of people have more energy and individuals feel they have more impact within a smaller organisation. It also increases the opportunities for development and progress within the company. 4. Be fair and be equal This isn’t just a matter of treating men and women equally, although that is important too, it is recognising the fact that everybody in our organisation is as important as each other. To illustrate this, Henry Engelhardt gives everyone in the company a piece of jigsaw during their induction. This represents that every piece is as important as the next and the picture is incomplete without them all. In short, we are all vital to the success of Admiral. This equality is evident in many ways. Most of our managers work at desks on the floor, there are very few private offices and everyone has the same chair, no special leather recliners for our managers. There are no company cars and parking spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Staff are given the opportunity to make choices that affect their working environment. For example they voted to allow radios in the call centres, they get to choose the colour of the walls in their department and can decide on their department’s dress code. Employees even get a say in who gets recruited to new positions internally through our Independent Recruitment Committee. Henry Engelhardt is very much the driving force in all this. Although he does have an office, he has an open-door policy and encourages staff to come and see him or email him if they have a question. He even holds regular ‘on-line chats’ on the company Intranet.

It’s not just a matter of giving people information, it is also essential to listen; to find out what is happening at the grass roots of the company. We have so many different methods of communication at Admiral, I could write an entire article on that alone. But here are just a few: • Two monthly company newsletters, one business focussed and one for fun • Team meetings • Team Brief • Intranet • Staff General Meeting • Quarterly updates • Staff suggestion scheme • Tea parties • Friendly Forums • Speak Up! Scheme • Managers Away Day • Annual appraisals •  Monthly and annual staff surveys Which brings me back to my final point. In our last Annual Survey, 90% of the people surveyed said they were proud to work for Admiral Group. 91% said they were happy with their job here and 88% said they would recommend Admiral as a place to work. How many other call centres could claim a figure like that? Juston Beddows, Assisstant Communications Manager. Admiral Group Plc

5. Communicate, communicate This leads me to my final point, good communication is vital to keeping a happy workforce. Employees kept in the dark soon feel suspicious and resentful of managers, so we give our staff every opportunity to find out what is happening within the organisation. And communication is a two-way process.

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on the couch


Founder of the de Havilland Moth Club

So Stuart, I believe you started up the club, how did you ‘get into’ de Havilland Moth initially? My interest in aeroplanes started in my school years and during my youth I spent most weekends over the summer trailing around aerodromes and air displays with friends. I was always fascinated by older aircraft and at that time there were still lots of Tiger and other Moth types to see. After school, I joined the Flight Operations Department of British European Airways at Heathrow. I joined the company’s flying club at White Waltham airfield, learned to fly in 1962 and, with a few basic skills, built myself a single seat aeroplane, a French designed Jodel D9 Bebe, powered by a converted VW 1800cc engine. I started the project in 1966 and the aircraft made her maiden flight from Heathrow Airport of all places, to Booker Airfield near High Wycombe, in June 1969. As

a result of my involvement with the organisation which supervises such activities, I was elected to the Committee and eventually became editor for their magazine ‘Popular Flying’. Always having an interest in Tiger Moths, I discovered a retired example for sale in France in 1972. I bought her, carried her back to England on a hired lorry and stripped her down in my house. A dismantled Tiger Moth takes up a great deal of room so I was pleased to have a house with a 25ft through-lounge. By this time, my Jodel was dismantled and in the same lounge, and I had no time for editing so resigned from the post. However, I suffered withdrawal symptoms and in 1974 circulated a news-sheet to owners and operators of Tiger Moths, suggesting we organised a circle of interested parties within which we could share experiences, pool spare parts and generally stay in contact. This found its way into the aviation press

and I was soon contacted by owners of various de Havilland aeroplanes, resulting in the de Havilland Moth Club formally being established in 1975. What do you remember about the first issue of the club’s magazine? The first issues of the Moth Club newsletter were photocopied sheets without illustrations. I then bought a cheap electric typewriter with a carbon ribbon and created text which was stuck onto a mounting sheet with actual size photographs. The resulting ‘magazine’ starting at issue No 19 and called ‘Enterprise’ looked much more mature, although still very amateurish. By issue No 42 of what was an almost bi-monthly publication of 32 pages, the name had changed to ‘The Moth’ and we were adventurous in establishing a red coloured front cover with a grey and grey full bleed picture. The publication was bursting to make the jump to

professional typesetting and layout. Thinking of my days on ‘Popular Flying’ and noting that we were approaching issue No 50, I wrote to my generous and patient mentor who had been our printer, a Mr Davies at Crown Printers. The reply came back from Stephens and George in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil, telling me that Crown Printers had been absorbed into the Group, and asking if they could help. For the early issues starting in 1984, all raw copy was typeset at Dowlais and galley proofs were corrected before being cut as required to make camera-ready pasted pages with holes left for illustrations. It was a tedious business and took a lot of time and effort to set up pages that were laid out to a professional standard... and always accompanied by the unforgettable aroma of Cow Gum! And then came the era of the PC! By the time Communicator goes to print you’ll have had the Moth 25th Anniversary Air Show at Woburn Abbey. Obviously a special occasion and very exciting, what will your involvement be there? The Rally is a three day event with visitors coming from all over the world, and will feature a Tiger Moth International Aerobatic Competition with entrants from Great Britain, Sweden, Italy, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

My role is Manager of the Rally, the biggest event of its kind anywhere in the world, and my wife and daughter administer all that is necessary in the organisation of a dinner for 250 guests not to mention their local hotel accommodation and transport. Seeing as your work life revolves around one of your passions, what are your other hobbies? I enjoy watching a good cricket or rugby match, listening to classical music, driving my MGB GT which I bought new in 1972, reading and eating chocolate. I go to the cinema occasionally, rarely watch television, keep the garden tidy and like walking. Is there anything in life that you still want to achieve? I would like to have a crack at writing a novel but never seem to have enough time. I should make time. Running the Moth Club for thirty years has brought me into close contact with some of my aviation heroes and I have been privileged to meet people and to have done things and been to places I would never have imagined possible when the first photocopied pages of Moth news went into the post in 1975. Questions asked by Nicola Northway.

for better or worse... Magazine Distributors await decisions from The Office of Fair Trading - but will it really be fair? It isn’t often that a ruling by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) causes widespread interest and alarm, but one such ruling due later this summer has created more than a stir in the print and publishing industry. The OFT has been considering a change to the current rules concerning distribution agreements enjoyed by newspaper and magazine retailers in the UK. The OFT has already ruled that newspaper distribution agreements should not change, but it hasn’t ruled against changing the agreements for magazines. With the complexities of UK competition law and EC trade regulations clouding the issue, publishers are anxious to hear the final ruling. Cutting through the vagaries of the argument takes more than a pair of blunt scissors, but the potential consequences of the OFT’s decision are somewhat disturbing for all businesses connected to the specialist magazine trade. The OFT looked into the current ruling because it felt that the distribution agreements are anti-competitive. Under the existing arrangements, newspaper and magazine wholesalers have exclusive distribution rights to sections of the UK, providing that they deliver sufficient quantities of newspapers and magazines to all retailers, however big or small and wherever they may be. This system has enabled small rural newsagents to enjoy the same level of distribution service as the large high street retailers, a system deemed fair by publishers and retailers.

However, the OFT has been looking into whether this system is compliant with competition law, and they look set to change the rules so that the current magazine distribution agreements are scrapped, paving the way for open competition in the distribution market. The OFT agreed that the existing system of territorial protection should continue for newspapers because as a product they are a special case, but despite the hand-in-hand distribution of newspapers alongside magazines, the OFT decided that the current distribution rights for magazines are unsatisfactory. The Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) and the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) tried to gain a block exemption from a new ruling under competition law, but with the OFT due to make a decision soon, a happy outcome for the publishers looks unlikely. So what will be the consequences? If, as expected, the OFT changes the rules, there could be a big shake-up throughout the UK. At present, magazine consumers in all areas of the UK are able to purchase a magazine, be it a best selling title or a small run specialist one, at a local newsagent. If the rules change and magazines get distributed separately from newspapers, it would become uneconomical for small newsagents to order specialist titles. It is argued that this will drastically affect consumer choice, retailer profits and magazine circulation figures. Indeed, Ian Locks, the Chief Executive of the PPA, recently stated, “If the current supply chain is unpicked and it unravels because of magazines being pulled away from the current exclusive territories, that will lead to a

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situation where it would be too expensive to supply potentially 20,000 retailers throughout the country - many of them in rural areas”. On top of this, the PPA itself estimates that a 1000 magazines and 20,000 newsagent retailers could go out of business. So why does the OFT feel it necessary to change existing rules that seem to satisfy those involved in the trade? Well, for one, the OFT is obliged by EC Law to ensure that competition law in the UK is adherent to laws in Europe. Secondly, the OFT, in its own words, believes that the current arrangements could be more efficient, stating that “retailers should be free to seek better deals than those offered by the appointed wholesaler for their territory”.


This appears to be a fair comment, allowing all retailers, big or small, to pursue their own distribution deals, from within or from outside their territories, at differing costs. But… ah… Just read that small print in the OFT’s next line which reads, “Absolute territorial protection prevents alternative, and potentially more efficient, arrangements for magazine distribution emerging”. And this is the crux of the matter. Currently, the UK specialist magazine market is hugely diverse and competitive, largely because of consumer choice, easy distribution methods and inventiveness within publishing houses. But if the OFT seeks to make distribution of these magazines ‘more efficient’, the advent of ‘efficiency’ may well come at the expense of magazine choice.

Why? Well, if distribution rules are opened to competition, it would almost certainly play into the hands of large retailers and supermarkets, who could flex their muscles to negotiate better distribution deals than the independent retailer. The big players could then use this advantage by charging less for magazines than the local newsagent, eventually driving the smaller players out of business. At this stage, no-one really knows what will happen. A change of rules looks increasingly likely, but are the noises made by the PPA and NPA merely scaremongering? Will changes to the law really have any affect? Will it indeed become a more efficient industry, as the OFT suggests? Or will the magazine and retail industry be badly affected? None of us have a crystal ball with which to find the answers, but the consequences of a similar ruling made in the USA in 1995 may well be more ominous than we like to admit. When the US Government changed the rules of their magazines supply chain (in much the same way the changes are likely to be administered here) the beneficiaries appeared to be Wal-Mart and Safeway. And guess what... 2000 specialist titles went out of business and roughly 20,000 retailers disappeared. Wal-Mart and Safeway now dominate the retail market when it comes to selling magazines in the States. Again, what was it that the PPA had to say? When we look at the USA, perhaps they are making a very succinct and alarming point. Another worry for publishers is censorship. This might sound extreme, but if the law is changed and

the huge supermarkets are able to erase the smaller retail competition, then who is to say that they won’t begin dictating over the content of the magazines? After all, large-run consumer titles such as Zoo and Nuts have recently been moved to higher shelves in Supermarkets and have been obliged to obscure their overtly sexy front covers with censorial packaging. Could this effect on content and design be extended if the supermarkets begin to dictate to publishers, using their retail monopoly as unhealthy leverage? Small retailers, newsagents, publishers and printers all await the OFT ruling with clammy anticipation. The upshot of a change in the rules is certainly hard to predict, but the effects are likely to be negative for specialist publishers. Already, many publishers are looking at alternative distribution methods and increases in subscription based titles in an attempt to offset a change in their circumstances. However, the likelihood is that many smaller titles would struggle to attain large enough readership figures if they are unable to have copies stood on news shelves all across the country because of punitive distribution rates. By the end of this summer, the OFT will have made its decision… and the aftermath will have a bearing on us all. martyn rowe S&G

S&G'S 'PRE-PRESS TIPS' with S&G’s Pre-press Expert JAMIE AWFORD


ADDING 1000S OF COLOURS TO YOUR SWATCHES This may just be an annoyance on a personal level but the lack of pre-listed colours in the Swatches Palette within In-Design always winds me up! There is a very simple workaround to this that will enable you to add 1000s of process colours.

b Secondly, you need to have a spot colour within your list to enable the creation of a Mixed Ink Group. Click on one of the 3 colours left in the list (I have chosen the Magenta one in this case) and select the ‘Swatch Options’ Palette from the sidebar. Change the name to ‘Spot ...’ and make the Colour Type Spot.

Keep up-to-date - Acrobat 7.01­


Why is Black referred to as ‘K’?

The letter ‘K’ actually stands for ‘Key’. The word key is used for Black because it is the main colour within artistic detail. When the industry wanted to create a mode of colour that contained a wider spectrum than RGB the four colours they used were Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. However, to stop any confusion with ‘Brown’ within RGB, they changed it to ‘Key Black’.

A Launch In-Design but do not create a new document. Bring up the Swatches Palette (Window > Swatches). By default you should have Red, Green and Blue as well as a Cyan, Yellow and Magenta inks already available. You need to remove the Red, Green and Blue colours and this is done by selecting them and clicking on the Trash can.

c You will now be able to select ‘New Mixed Ink Group’ from the sidebar. You can call the group whatever you like at this stage because it will be renamed later. In this Palette you can enter how many colours you want in your list. I have entered 10% increments from 0%. Please note that you have to apply this to a spot colour (hence converting the Magenta to spot earlier) for this to work.


d b


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e Com’muni,cator > issue#12


D Click OK and you will see a list of colours appear in your swatch list. At the top of the list will be the name of your Group. Double click on this and it will bring up the Mixed Ink Group Options. e In this Palette, click on ‘Convert Mixed Ink Swatches to Process’ and you will notice that your swatches are now all process.

However you will see that their names are not sufficient so click on the top colour, scroll down to the very bottom and shift-click on the last one. Select ‘Swatch Options’ from the Sidebar and click ‘Name with Colour Value’ f

editing old illustrator files in illustrator cs or cs2 NOT RECOMMENDED!!! When you open an Illustrator 8, 9 or 10 file in Illustrator CS/CS2, edit the file and save the EPS again, there have been instancies where the updated EPS-file moves a couple of millimetres in your Quark/In-Design when updated from the ‘Modified’ state. There have also been instances when the scale of the drawing changes by a few percent. It is recommended to edit Illustrator files using the same version that was originally used to create the file. Rule of thumb - avoid editing pre-CS files in Illustrator CS or CS2 when possible!



Adding Page Numbers (based on Acrobat 7) This is really a tip to help us - the poor suffering prepress dept!

If your job contains pages such as a section at the front with roman numerals or sections beginning with letters and these pages do not have page numbers, then there is a way within Acrobat to apply these to the PDFs. In my example I want to number the first 5 pages as Roman Numerals. Select ‘Page Numbering’ from the Advanced menu and enter pages 1-5. Choose roman numerals as the style and press OK.

In-Design will allow you to import an Illustrator document (an ‘ai’ file) without any forseable problems and even export to a PDF without any problems but there are some issues when doing this. An Illustrator file will NOT flatten the transparency so this is imported into the In-Design file and when the PDF is produced, solid boxes can appear where the transparent object should appear. If you save as an eps, you will be prompted to flatten the transparency first. Rule of thumb - ALWAYS save Illustrator files as eps files and import these into your In-Design file.

why pdf/x-1a2001? You may have noticed that we are now asking you to export/distill your files to the PDF/X-1a2001 standard and are wondering what it is. PDF/X is a set of best practice guidelines on how to create reliable print-ready PDF files. A PDF file which complies with PDF/X-1a2001 specifications should require no additional handling instructions by us. A PDF/X PDF must adhere to certain restrictions: • It has to be a PDF 1.3 file, which means it cannot contain transparency • All fonts must be embedded • Images must be embedded. Therefore a PDF cannot use OPI • All colour must be CMYK, Black and White or Grayscale (No RGB or LAB) There are more but these are the main ones. PDF/X-1a2001 is a preset Distiller/Export setting within the majority of the latest version of software such as Acrobat Distiller/In-Design etc.



Water based coatings were introduced during the early 1970s and were designed to increase flexibility in terms of press speeds, ink weights and gloss finishes. Since that time technology improvements have given printers a far wider choice of finishes and faster drying speeds. Press speeds are higher than ever before and a greater range of stocks are now coated inline. The formulations have been developed to give improved lat flat delivery at the highest speeds.

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Com’muni,cator > issue#12

Emulsion coatings are water based and dry principally by evaporation and also some absorption into the substrate. They provide a protective layer over ink or plain board. Where they are applied over wet offset ink, they allow sufficient oxygen to permeate the coating to ensure that the oil based offset ink can dry by the normal oxidation process. Water based emulsion coatings have a solids content between 40-48%, the balance is water and other volatile components. They dry by the evaporation of these volatile components; leaving behind a blend of polymers, waxes and modifying additives, which provide, a tack free, dry to the touch finish, shortly after sheet delivery. Water based coatings are available in a range of finishes from full matt to very high gloss. Printing speeds can be greatly increased with the reduction or elimination of anti set-off spray and, when coated the time to further processing is reduced. Inline coating units on modern presses can be separated into two main types, standard roller coaters and Anilox coaters.

The challenge for the chemists and formulators at Hi-Tech Coatings was to develop an emulsion coating which could be applied to both sides of the sheet on the same printing pass. The first five units of the press print the image, the sixth applies the coating, the sheet is then turned and the reverse side printed on unit’s seven to eleven followed by the reverse coating on unit twelve. One obvious problem was that the ink and coating on the first side would not be dry as the sheet passed through the second six units. Modern printing pressures are quite high to maintain the highest quality image and definition. The demand was for a coating which would protect the first side from sticking to the impression cylinders, whilst still providing the finish, rub resistance and clarity required. Specially developed polymers were used with non stick surface drying properties in order to achieve the performance criteria demanded. The final formulation is a unique product developed for S&G group enabling the new twelve colour press to produce work of exceptional quality with a smoother finish, all in one pass, a superb achievement and a UK first. HI-TECH COATINGS, WITH ITS HEADQUARTERS AND TECHNICAL CENTRE IN THE UK, NOW HAS SEVEN PRODUCTION PLANTS AROUND THE WORLD, SERVING THE GLOBAL DEMAND FOR SPECIALIST COATINGS IN THE PRINT INDUSTRY. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SALES@HITECHCOATINGS.CO.UK




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Com’muni,cator > issue#12

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Paper made out of oranges? Seriously, it’s part of the new range of papers from Italian speciality paper manufacturer Favini. It would probably be too easy to attach the adjective “novelty” to a range of papers manufactured from fruit, but that would be missing the point. Favini, the Italian speciality paper manufacturer which is soon to launch these papers in the UK, would much prefer to use the phrase “ultra niche”. Favini is, after all, the company that developed Alga Carta paper, an ecological paper which is made from a combination of algae from the Venice lagoon, recycled mill paper and FSC fibre, so when it talks about fruit in the papermaking process, it’s best to listen. Marco Favini, the company’s chairman, explained more to PMM about the coming range (named Shiro) during a flying visit to the UK in June. It will comprise fruit papers, recycled papers, tree-free papers, and a new updated version of Alga Carta, all of which are being made from renewable energy (for which Favini has to pay a sizeable premium to the Italian electricity company).

Cellulose fibres from oranges, apples, and sugar beet, amongst others, have all been used in the production of the papers in place of wood fibres. Favini has the heritage and products to back up its strong environment beliefs, says Marco Favini, and it has high hopes the new papers will “explode our volumes”. Who would use such papers? This is paper-specifying with a conscience. “It’s an ethical paper,” says Favini. “Companies like BodyShop with an ethical culture, companies with a CEO that shares ethical beliefs, and companies under some pressure from environmental groups. Designers will like the aesthetics of the range. “We can follow very closely what the customers are doing. This is the kind of product we believe in but we need to push it into the market and make people aware. We’re negotiating with merchants at the moment, and the price will be pretty much in line with what you would expect in the speciality paper market. The price is important of course, but the main reason for buying this paper is different to the price. It’s an emotional purchase – the paper adds to the emotion of the project because the paper itself speaks, when compared to just matt and gloss papers.”

Favini will be promoting the new range to printers, designers and highly targeted corporates, such as those in pharmaceuticals - companies that “want to show more than just lip service to environmental issues”, says Marco Favini. “Some printers will see the benefits of it and offer it as something unique to corporate customers - that allows the proactive printer to sell himself. Designers are talking to so many companies all the time, it’s a very good way into the market for us, and we will also go very much for targeted large companies in the same way we do with own watermarking,” Favini adds. The own watermarking aspect of Favini’s business (covered in PMM, March 2005) is rapidly growing, having doubled this year. Much of this growth, according to marketing director Chris Brown, has come from mainland Europe, where there has not traditionally been the same degree of awareness of security against fraudulent practice than in the UK. The message seems to be getting across now. Favini prides itself on its flexibility, or to use its own branding message, Paper FlexAbility, and its willingness to experiment with different textures to provide a specialist paper specifically to a company’s needs, even in quantities as small as 1000 kilos (that’s only two pallets full), makes it a very different animal from the paper making giants of the world. One manufacturer of jeans, for example, approached Favini to produce paper bags that had the distressed, faded feel of an old pair of jeans. It was achieved by placing specific textures on the embossing rollers of Favini’s paper making machines. In another project, a facsimile of Anne Frank’s diary was produced on papers that matched the pre-war papers that Frank actually wrote upon. Virtually anything is possible, says Brown: “We like to think we have a can-do attitude and we want to find solutions for that kind of activity.” Another market opportunity for Favini, especially with oil prices high, is in producing paper products that can easily substitute plastic products, with plastic bags being an obvious example. Brown says there is work to be done by the paper industry as a whole in rolling back the advance of the plastics industry’s environmental message, where paper should really have the upper hand. *Favini’s Shiro range is currently available only in Italy. A UK supplier is soon to be named.

This feature first appeared in Print Media Management July 05. Reproduced with permission.


On arrival at Woburn Abbey for the 25th International de Havilland Moth Rally and first day of the Aerobatic Competition, two very different but equally magnificent creatures - resident herds of deer and visiting Moth aeroplanes, greeted me. During the morning, the skies were grey, the rain persistent, and with visibility at around half a mile and a cloudbase of 500 feet, the augurs were not promising for much flying that day. In contrast to the weather, the atmosphere inside the marquee was warm and welcoming. Aviators and enthusiasts from across Europe and America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa reunited, some who had arrived in their Moths to rally at Woburn. Looking out through the raindrops over the landing field at the stationary aircaft, and hearing through the buzz of conversation such names as the Hornet Moth, Tiger Moth, Dragon Rapide, and the Vickers Vimy, it struck me that such meetings are more than simply expressions of a fascinating hobby. They represent a proud tribute to the remarkable and valiant people involved in manufacturing, maintaining and flying such seemingly fragile machines since the flight of the first DH60 Moth, 80 years ago. Due to a key club member being unable to attend, I was delighted when Stuart McKay (Secretary of deHMC, and Editor of “The Moth” magazine) invited me to join his table of dignitaries for the Celebratory Lunch, which included the President of the de Havilland Moth Club, Her Grace Henrietta, Duchess of Bedford. I learned during lunch that 2005 is not only a milestone for the deHMC, but also the 75th Anniversary of Mary, Duchess of Bedford flying

her first solo, and the 95th Anniversary of Geoffrey de Havilland’s first successful flight. The first Woburn Rally in 1980 involved 28 Moths, and was intended to be a one-off event. However, the Tavistock family invited the Club back for a second year, and Lady Tavistock presented the “The Flying Duchess Trophy” as the Premier Concours annual award. The awards have grown in number, as have the attendees and aeroplanes involved. This year, there were 114 aircraft of which 84 were Moths. The afternoon progressed, the rain stopped, visibility improved and the cloud base lifted to over 1000 feet, which meant that Moths went flying! This display was clearly just a warm-up for the weekend events to follow, but nonetheless thrilling for this captivated observer. As a Moth tumbled gracefully in the sky high over my head, the past came alive, and I felt sorry indeed that I would not be able to attend the real celebration of deHMC heritage over the weekend. The 1940 DH98 Mosquito fighter-bomber, designed by R.E. Bishop, who designed the original Moth aeroplane in 1925. The first Moth was designed by Captain Geoffrey de Havilland and flew in 1925. R E Bishop designed the Mosquito in 1940... no real connection apart from the fact that the aircraft were made by the same company. Bridget Ash, Sales Executive. S&G.

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GE's launch of ecomagination marks a huge shift in multinationals' attention to green issues. Can a diversified global company convincingly show commitent to the environment without cynical charges of greenwash? A look at GE's initiative in the context of Shell's past experiences demonstrates some of the hurdles involved. On 9 May of this year, General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt announced the commencement of the US$ 150 billion company’s spanking new environmentally-friendly business initiative “ecomagination.” The plan might prove to be not only the most dramatic effort by a multi-national to truly embrace green technology, but also a completely new, aggressive means of instantly and authentically building green into the brand. GE’s ecomagination comes not a minute too soon. As Kyoto becomes international law and concerns about the environment dominate discussions at G8 and World Trade Organization summits as well as popular culture in general, businesses are being scrutinized for their approach to this issue. Brand managers eager to go green could learn from how ecomagination works and how it differs from similar initiatives. GE director of public relations Peter O’Toole explains ecomagination by drawing on the past of the company. “GE has always been a growth company and has thrived for 127 years thanks to a strong focus on good growth prospects. Ecomagination is an extension of that.” He continues, “Jeff Immelt, our CEO, said that ‘green can be green’ - that we can do the right thing environmentally and make money while we do it. And based on the positive reaction we have heard from customers, consumers and stakeholders, he’s right.”

Herein lies the most attractive element of ecomagination. It is, at heart, a money-making initiative. Environmentalists ranging from Greenpeace to the Sierra Club have long argued that green technologies are not just “feel good” projects; they represent the business of the future.

In fact, says GE’s O’Toole, ecomagination is not meant to revamp the brand at all; it’s about good business sense.

The Environmental Kuznets curve, named after the late Harvard economist and Nobel Prize winner Simon Kuznets, dictates that as poor countries become richer, the demand for greener technologies becomes greater because nobody wants to live in a mire of pollution. Thus, as China and Eastern Europe engage in larger slices of global trade, they too will start looking for ways to clean up their backyards. By extension they will look to companies like GE for the technology to do it. GE plans to be ready. Amity Shlaes wrote in the Financial Times that these goals have enabled GE to “inscribe its name below all the country names on the Kyoto treaty,” and she’s right (9 May 2005). Ecomagination is a company-wide, deep effort to reinvent the way GE does business and to prepare for a swiftly globalizing world where climate change and ozone depletions are not just the concerns of the next generation but of you and me, now. Nonetheless, it does make one wonder, despite the funky ecomagination website and massive marketing campaign, whether or not the average consumer will see the staid GE brand any differently following the initiative.

It’s “not an advertising ploy or marketing gimmick,” he says. “GE wants to do this because it is right, but also we plan to make money while we do so.” Ecomagination is “never going to be a lecture by GE about ‘what’s right.’ It had to be a viable business prospect.” When asked what GE hopes to achieve through ecomagination, O’Toole answers simply, “Strong growth.” He adds that, “in what Jeff (Immelt) calls a ‘carbon constrained world’ - where it is also more of a challenge to find

the kind of growth GE demands, companies need to strive for developing technologies and business prospects where perhaps they haven’t in the past.” The efforts of a huge diversified company to go green have been echoed in the past by other large energy companies. One such project was the sustainable development project initiated by Shell in 1996 and launched at the Earth Summit in 2002. Shell is a massive, worldwide energy brand that has not traditionally been associated with a green focus. In fact, Shell’s reputation at the beginning of its sustainable development project was in tatters. The Anglo-Dutch brand began to think seriously about building green into its image shortly after the 1995 Brent Spar disaster in the North Sea. During that situation,

Greenpeace activists grabbed world headlines by occupying a derelict oil platform owned by Shell and refusing to let it be tipped into the ocean as a means of disposal. At the end of that same year, Shell’s brand suffered another blow when environmental activist and Nobel Prize nominee Ken Saro Wiwa and eight of his fellow Ogoni environmentalists were executed by the Nigerian government for obstructing Shell’s pollution of their tribal lands. Critics charged the brutal move was backed by Shell, who did nothing to intercede during their show trial. “After these two debacles,” Claudia Mpeta, Shell’s communication manager for External Affairs at Shell’s Cape Town offices reports, “over a hundred Shell service stations across Europe were vandalized in some way, and employees were scared to come to work. Our brand value was below zero.” At the start of 1996, Mpeta says, the company went into a “massive introspect” when Shell began a systematic review of its entire operations. The result was a sustainable development program meant to “restore Shell’s integrity” to the world. Heads of departments of various countries were asked to sign a “letter of assurance” that their operations were doing the right thing from an “economic, social and environmental” standpoint. Now Shell launches yearly independent audits to make sure that its officers are toeing the line in all three areas. According to Mpeta the rebuilding of Shell’s brand required a long-term, three-phase process. The first phase lasted from 1996 to 1997, when the company went through an

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introspective period and planned what it would do to re-establish the brand worldwide. The second phase, Mpeta says, saw the creation of the Statement of General Business Principles and the yearly publication of the Shell Report, which is a detailed appraisal of the company’s yearly effort to abide by its sustainable development goals. The Shell Reports are slick catalogues that break down the company’s activities into highlights and lowlights. The third phase began in 2001 and continues today; the project launched at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in what Mpeta describes as a “coming out party.” Shell divides the way it manages the brand into two sectors. Traditional brand managers cover products and lubricants. They work in tandem with colleagues involved with corporate identity. Shell’s External Affairs department is involved in all corporate decisions and uses what the company calls an “issues management system” which “ensures we do not repeat the same mistakes.” To do this they use a global brand tracker and a methodical “reputation tracker” as measurements of the efficacy of the system. The company learned that becoming an environmentally sensitive brand requires a great deal of organization and time. (Shell removed itself from Ogoni land-although its rusting oil drilling infrastructure remains-and addressed other sensitive issues such as the use of pesticides in Brazil and the spread of HIV among its African employees.) There is no better place to find out about Shell’s problems than through the Shell Report itself; the company embraces a policy of transparency that is almost disarming. So what has

Com’muni,cator > issue#12


Shell learned that General Electric might want to emulate? The implementation of a sustainable development program that has a meaningful effect on people’s perception of the brand requires three elements. 1. Complete buy-in from the head of the company. Each Shell Report begins with a message from chairman Jeroen van der Veer, who has been instrumental in pushing the program forward. (Predecessor Sir Philip Watts was knighted for his efforts in regard to sustainable development before being fired for corporate dishonesty. This embarrassing and recent episode receives upfront treatment from Shell in its report.) 2. The program must have equal buy-in from employees. Mpeta tells us that the only way to grow a sustainable development program is to train employees at the ground level, informing them about the program and how it affects the way the company does business. This is a timeconsuming process - more so even than the planning of the project itself. 3. The company requires time to reap the benefits of its actions. This year represents the ten-year anniversary of the Brent Spar disaster and the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa. Despite the passage of time and all the work it has done, Shell is still not immediately associated with green branding. Joel Makower’s August 2004 column in GreenBiz.Com listed Shell as one of the many companies that simply gush the “green gospel” with a page or two of slick ad copy in selected

magazines. It’s worth noting that Shell has a lot of past to overcome and that cynics are not easily satisfied. Mpeta points out, however, that despite the difficulty in turning around the public’s perception of the brand, the sustainable development program has a spin off that is simply crucial for the future of the company: it gives Shell a “license to operate” in developing countries. “If we want to do business with China and the rest of Asia we need a good reputation. What government would want to do business with a company that is environmentally insensitive?” This finding is in line with GE’s belief that ecomagination is absolutely necessary for staying in business. The key, Mpeta says, is to be able to “put yourself forward as a company that is acting on everyone’s best interest. Shareholders want to make sure the company makes them proud.... They want returns from a company that is acting responsibly.” Both Shell and GE know that their actions today will ultimately give them that crucial license to do business in Asia, as well as Europe and the Middle East where there are increasing markets for water purification and desalination. These markets want to work with the cleanest and greenest brands. While, it remains to be seen how either brand will manage going forward a long look at Shell’s experiences can only help GE achieve its mission.

Disclosure: Several partners were involved in GE’s ecomagination launch. These include the brand consultancy Interbrand Corporation, brandchannel’s parent company. Ron Irwin This feature first appeared on Reproduced with permission.

21st Century Mail words: Tim Rivett, Head of Small Business & Consumer, Royal Mail

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Tim Rivett at Royal Mail looks at the marketing environment that businesses operate in today and the space that is left for direct mail.

by what your customer and prospects demand. Your communications cannot be wishy-washy or ill conceived. Remember, thousands of messages a day…

‘Direct Mail in the 21st Century’… sounds fairly futuristic doesn’t it? Well, just in case you’d forgotten we’re nearly five years into the 21st century and it’s about time we thought about how mail campaigns are working for us in our efforts to communicate with our customers and prospects.

Communication must be relevant, timely and seamless across channels. If not, it will be binned, literally or figuratively.

A different market place We live in a society where we are increasingly and constantly bombarded with messages, making it more and more difficult for us to capture and hold someone’s attention. Thirty years ago, it was possible to reach 75% of all housewives with a 30 second slot on Coronation Street. Now it isn’t because of the fragmentation of media - the wide variety of media channels that are now available, such as satellite, cable TV, new radio stations, more and more consumer and customer magazines, and new advertising formats such as the increasing array of ambient outdoor media and internet advertising. Furthermore, today’s consumers are faced with more choice in what services and products to buy than ever before and receive thousands of messages every day through multiple media channels. Consumers are far more sophisticated and knowledgeable and, therefore, more likely than not to make comparisons and carry out research before making a purchase decision. Lifestyles are increasingly diverse therefore needs and desires are broadening. Consumers are not homogenous, there are more consumer niches than ever before and that equals more challenges for businesses because there are more consumer needs to be fulfilled. According to Billett Consultancy, in 1996, 23% of the adult population was single. By 2021 this is projected to grow to 45%. The proportion of households with 1 or 2 people has grown from 37% in 1970 to 50% today. The number of single parents has grown from 300,000 in 1970 to 1.2m in 2000. Add to this more disposable income, people living together longer, getting married and having children later (the two not necessarily linked by the way), more eating out, more leisure opportunities at home, and more travel, and you have a real shift in consumer behaviour. This in turn impacts on how they interact with any marketing. Cutting through the clutter The key to gaining cut-through to these empowered consumers is to choose the right media, as determined

So far, we have seen that modern marketers face two interesting problems - the surge in media fragmentation and an empowered and intolerant consumer base. Direct marketing is clearly on the rise - direct mail alone has seen a 3% market share rise over two years, and is one of only two media to have experienced quarter on quarter growth over the last year (the other being web advertising). And, whilst we are talking about direct marketing, let’s kill this one at this stage. Mail media is not in competition with other cheaper and more instantaneous media such as SMS, email and the web. These are wonderful, immensely powerful media for communicating value added, realtime and personal messages. Yet these are not media that are suited to detail of information and they are intrusive, consequently, they must be used with even greater care than direct mail. The point is - which advertising medium do you turn to for more information from which to make a considered decision? Mail. The web is a fantastic environment, but most human beings (and not just those over 40!) prefer to read paper and at their leisure. If you want to get back in touch with people who no longer visit your web site or open your emails, which medium do you turn to? Mail media. But let’s not rest on our laurels - mail media has some stepping up to do. The days of “carpet bombing” campaigns should be over, because such campaigns cannot communicate effectively with customers, and cannot therefore deliver the returns for marketers that are both possible and desirable. Royal Mail is primarily concerned with improving the effectiveness of mail media as a communications tool, not just concentrating on its reach (25m delivery points, 6 days a week by the way!), because inevitably, untargeted mass mailings only devalue the media. That said, in direct marketing, direct mail comes into its own. It is the consumer’s one-to-one communication

channel of choice. In a recent survey, a majority of people said they used the mail they received in the post to cross-refer to other information resources such as the Internet. More than half of the consumers surveyed said they’d bought via this direct mail at some point. Three quarters of direct mail received is opened and more than half of it is actually read. Almost 70 per cent of consumers have replied at some time to a piece of direct mail and more than 40 per cent in the past year. Mail media is also key in retaining firsttime buyers. Nearly six out of 10 consumers say they are more likely to use a company again if it mails them. And mail media works on two levels - emotionally, direct mail can foster one-to-one relationships, rationally, direct mail can deliver the information and support that translates into action and into changes in behaviour. Above all, however, direct mail is about getting a response: at least an emotional response that makes the customer or prospect feel positively towards the advertiser, or, even better, pick up the phone and make an enquiry. 300 TV channels, 300 radio stations, 8,500 magazines, and millions of websites - but there’s only one letterbox.

S&G group news

Mark Vincent I am a 34 yr old happily married dad of two young sons, James 5 and Ben 1. Living in the Rhiwbina area of Cardiff I am kept busy with family life, however, I like most sports especially football and ice hockey (viewing not playing that is!). I enjoy a wide range of music, although I’m a bit of an 80’s music sado!! Having worked in a customer service environment since school I have gained vast experience whilst working for the Council, Automobile Association and spending the last 10 years as a customer service executive at St Ives Caerphilly. At St Ives I worked with many prestigious customers within the print industry whilst gaining respect internally and externally and making a lot of friends on the way. I would have complete control of the production of a customers job, from pre-production discussions through each step until dispatch and invoicing. I would also spend time frequently meeting customers, building relationships and ensuring that we met their every need. My life at St Ives is now over and I am very appreciative of an opportunity to give 110% for Stephens and George. I was very impressed with the service that Pelican gave me as a customer over the years and, having now seen the whole set up and the way that the company has invested over the last few years, I know that I have made the right move. It’s an exciting time and I hope to be here for many years as the company continues to move from strength to strength and hopefully I can help along the way.

Christian Penhallurick Age 28… Ok I’m 36. Currently living in Caerphilly. I am married to Claire and I have a nine-year-old son called Ben. My wife and son are my life. I haven’t really got any hobbies but my interests include spending as much time as I possibly can in Ibiza, music, cars and for some strange reason I like collecting watches. I was previously employed by St Ives Caerphilly Ltd where I was part of the customer services team for eighteen years. I dealt with all aspects of customer services from works instructions and chasing files to entertaining customers on and off site whenever I could (a great part of the job). When the announcement was made that the plug was being pulled on the Caerphilly branch I was very upset but not at all bitter. I thoroughly enjoyed working there and am very grateful for eighteen good years. Working for St Ives taught me a great deal about print and customer services. But anyway… Just after that announcement Paul Cook approached me with regards to a position at S&G. I’ve known Paul for many years through Pelican and was very interested in the proposal. After a few chats and a tour of the factory I was very pleased to accept a position. I remember my first tour of S&G and being really impressed with the kit and scale of the business. I have to say that I was thinking about walking away from print altogether but I really liked what I saw here. I’m now with S&G and very excited about it. I hope that some of my previous experience and knowledge can be of some help to this business. I’m also aiming to gain some work from my previous customers as I enjoyed working with them a great deal and hope to do so again. Ultimately, I hope to have a long and fruitful relationship with Stephens and George.

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22_23 s&g group year on year comparison 04/05

S&G Customer Satisfaction Measurement Survey July 2005 In July 2005 we undertook our annual in-depth Customer Satisfaction Measurement Survey and independently interviewed in excess of 150 customers. We appreciate that all our customers are extremely busy people and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took time out to talk to our researchers.

s&g magazines year on year comparison 04/05

Customer feed back is of paramount importance to us. We need to know what we are doing right and where we need to improve. Once again we are absolutely delighted with the results of the survey, which are shown here. However, we realise that we are not perfect and there are a few areas which need our attention - rest assured we are working on these as you read this article! Once again many thanks to everyone who took part in the survey, our researchers look forward to speaking to you again next year. Sharon Tovey Group Marketing Manager

sgc year on year comparison 04/05

a week in the life of...

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...Phillipe Gibson, group purchasing director at paper merchants, the james mcnaughton group - a company with a thirst for communications. Paper is the world’s favourite media for communication, the huge variety of papers available, the familiar and friendly feel of such a lovely substrate, the pleasure of reading where and when you want to all make paper the medium of choice for communications of every kind. The McNaughton Group sells around 400,000 tonnes each year of a multitude of products to a wide variety of paper buyers. Here, Group Purchasing Director, Philippe Gibson looks at a week in the life of this dynamic organisation and shares his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities presented to this fast growing business. Monday a.m. Early meeting with a major Finnish paper maker, they are just beginning to recover from the lengthy strikes and lock outs which affected the industry in Finland during May and June. Our normally regular supply lines have been affected and we need to keep close to our suppliers as back orders have piled up and relations have been a little strained. I firmly believe in openness and honesty in all business relationships - the long established trust we have in our business together allows us to jointly agree priorities, share some difficult situations and agree a way forward for mutual benefit. Monday p.m. Head for the Midlands to spend the afternoon at one of over 26 branch operations, for me to be able to sit amongst the inside sales teams and listen to the calls we get and the reactions we have to customer enquiries is a vital part of understanding our fast changing world. Nice to hear lots of laughter and enthusiasm, think this is having a positive effect on our customers. We have a relocation coming up

soon for this sales office, so packing is underway and the place looks a bit untidy, however, the ‘craic’ is great. During the after work sales meeting we share performance figures and the local challenges: tough competitors, some sectors below budget and we also discuss a group issue which needs input and involvement from my operating colleagues. I pick up several gems from the team, which will influence the way we go. Overall I get re-confirmation of the benefits of communicating, most importantly listening to different points of view. After all this team is talking to the people who pay us every day. Tuesday Start with another supplier meeting, this one is a major supplier to MoDo Merchants who joined forces with McNaughton in January this year, so a new relationship for me. We’re very committed to the product we buy but we need to work hard building our understanding of their expectations and to provide realistic yet challenging targets for us both. The difference between the approach of this southern European supplier and my meeting the Finnish supplier the day before makes me smile and re-confirms the need to try and appreciate the cultural differences between countries and companies and restates the need for regular, frequent dialogue and openness in order to fully understand each other. This is followed by an internal working group meeting, looking at how we handle internal costs - a typical merchant discussion. We have a small team to start this project and recognise we need to involve more people from different disciplines in order to reach the correct end result. I most enjoy that we are very open, recognise our shortcomings,

more or less avoid personal timetables and still manage to laugh a lot along the way. Wednesday Catching up on the endless flow of e-mails - I don’t like how they have replaced talking to a certain degree and could certainly do with a filter to clear away the unnecessary ones. They do, however, provide instant updates from everywhere on many subjects, there’s really no excuse not to be informed. My Blackberry allows me to keep up whilst on the move and I really like that device, am pleased to say I am able to turn both it and the mobile phone off. I do this whenever I am meeting or talking with someone in order to try and give full attention to the subject in hand. However, I notice more and more that these handy support devices are interfering in important one-to-one communications. Thursday New product possibility today. The demand for papers, which are identified as “environmentally responsible”, has grown substantially since the year 2000. The awareness of green issues and genuine concern for care of the environment means paper is a hot subject as some people think that paper equals forest destruction, polluting factories, waste and landfill. Our industry does, in fact, play a major role in managing forests; cleaning rivers and preventing landfill by recycling. There is a lot of room for misunderstanding and entrenched positions and yet again good communication is one of the most critical parts of this process. McNaughton has an excellent portfolio of products made from recycled fibre, some 100% recycled, others consisting of partly recycled fibre with the balance of chlorine free pulp.

The unique good news of the product we are talking about today is that it will be made in the U.K. This means reduced use of virgin fibre pulp, recycling waste instead of landfill and it is also a creative offering from a domestic paper mill. In recent years the U.K. paper mills have found it hard to survive for a multitude of reasons, so we are very keen to support all good ideas. I believe this product will be heavily in demand and we meet to discuss our stock operation, timings, launch plans and the budget both parties are agreeing to. This is a most positive development and along with another product we will be introducing in the autumn I am very optimistic about us having the best offer in this area. As always the key is how do we tell people about it - our own company first, our customers and other stakeholders in a clever, easy to understand way. I resolve to appoint one senior person to be responsible for introducing the new brand so we have complete ownership of the project. In my experience some projects have been less successful than they should have been and often it is when there has not been a clear project owner. Friday Training and development review where we look at how our staff appraisal system is working, we have good levels of take-up and we are revising the training needs identified from these processes and planning our Training Solutions activities for the months ahead so we can meet the needs identified. Everyone needs a coach to help them improve, our aim is to encourage continuous learning and respond to needs.

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Com’muni,cator > issue#12

One of the key areas at the moment relates to product training. McNaughton has several thousand items in our portfolio and sharing knowledge and key attributes, features and benefits is a vital part of increasing the firepower of our sales force. We are very keen on classroom style training sessions, although increasingly the trainer travels to participants rather than having people out of the business “away on a course”. We are also using E-Learning through our intranet, although this is still in its infancy for us. One continual theme recurs day-by-day, week-by-week. The need for good communication - when it’s working anything and everything is possible. Can’t wait for Monday! Phillipe Gibson Group Purchasing Director, James McNaughton Group

CONGRATULATIONS… webwatch To our Lions Tour Prize Draw winners and condolences to those who didn’t win, but we hope you had fun playing the game anyway! AboutVolvo/HeartOfVolvo/ I love this site, not because it’s Volvo but because it is ‘so Volvo’. It’s what every brand web site should be - a window into the soul of your organisation, your culture, people, inventiveness, innocence, your mistakes, your successes, your history and your future. Really this site could be no other site than Volvo’s. This is what I mean... Volvo don’t sell cars... in reality they sell safety... this is their raison d’etre... this is the core of their being and why they bother to get up in the morning. It’s why your Dad or your mates Dad drives one and always has driven one since he first had a family. A Volvo wraps you up like your Mother did when you first came out of hospital and carries you safely, with the guidance of your Dad who’s careful behind the wheel, through all your formative years, ‘till he drops you and all your belongings off at university for the first time with a tear in his eye. It’s a lifestyle rather than a car and the people in the site exude it through every pore - they aren’t all Swedish and they certainly aren’t all Dad’s, but they are all Volvo. Technically like the Volvo this site is solid. It won’t let you down, it’s easy to drive and you won’t drive off the side of the web space. Its’ many ways of showing you interesting and boring stuff means you’ll never fall asleep at the mouse and you’ll definitely drive round the block again to really feel the power under your fingers. I guess like a Volvo car (I’ve NEVER driven one!) you’d presume that this site will be boring and, like a Volvo, Hans could bore you if he wanted, but he’s lovely, gentle, courteous and completely trustworthy, he does engage you and if he was your Dad you’d be chuffed. But when you get in the car and drive it you think, ‘mmmmm they’ve thought about this’, and when you put your foot down you think ‘wow’! Check out the test drive section and you’ll see what I mean... And so this site is the same, if you don’t like Volvo in the same way you’d never think of driving one you’d never think of clicking on it, but have a drive, forgetting it’s a Volvo, and you’ll see a site that’s better than yours or mine, not because it’s got more Flash, more information or better pictures, but because it’s got soul, heart, and it’s safely ‘so Volvo’... James Osgood, Marketing & brand consultant email: Tel: 07976 770712

1st Prize: Christophe Gayraud - L’Oreal Matrix 2nd Prize: Claire Mossman - The Medicine Publishing Company 3rd Prize: Christopher Reed - William Reed Publishing Runners Up: Ian Jones - National Computer Centre Gaye Wright - Pelican Magazines ltd Martin Buck - Freightmaster Publishing Derek Pollock - Club Triumph Graham Ogilvie - Redcow Creative

Communicator 12  

A b2b publication aimed at print buying professionals and designers. Designed and published by Black Sheep for Stephens & George Print Group...

Communicator 12  

A b2b publication aimed at print buying professionals and designers. Designed and published by Black Sheep for Stephens & George Print Group...