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November 09, 2004

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Paul Kemp-Robertson

Fair point, Steve - though the person who alerted me to your posting jumped to the same conclusion, so chances are we weren't alone. Your clarification, however, should do the trick.
Before I head off into the London chill, I just wanted to stress that Contagious is not in the same territory as a weekly like AdAge. Yes, we're a B2B/trade publication, but structured as a quarterly specialist report - in subscription-only, magazine/dvd/online-database format (phew).
Our aim is to give advertisers, media planners and agency folks a comprehensive digest of all those 'new' forms of advertising they read about but rarely get the chance to see.
Because we're a quarterly, we'll be able to take a more analytical approach and spread our net beyond the marketing arena.
Launching a new publication is always a risk, but the industry has definitely shifted 180-degrees in the past couple of years...
Two of our first subscriptions came from the ranks of the world's Top 5 advertisers, so hopefully we're on the right track.
I'm slipping into sales mode again, time to go!

Steve Portigal

The original post reads in part "Contagious Magazine is...
Check out Reveries for a full article..."

My first comment began with "Interesting magazine. Sloppy article, I think."

Not sure why the folks from Contagious think that needs clarification or even retraction. The article cited by Jennifer was indeed "sloppy." That doesn't reflect on the magazine which I described as "interesting."

Jennifer Rice

Thanks, Paul, for the clarification. I'm looking forward to receiving the first edition of Contagious so I'll give everyone the independent scoop on what the magazine's all about. I'm excited about their objective; I think we're long overdue for a publication that goes beyond AdAge.

Paul Kemp-Robertson

Editor of Contagious here. Steve's entitled to his opinion about our website and I've sent him a personal email to apologize and explain how the communications glitch occurred. Normally, there's a clear distinction between editorial and sales enquiries on the site, but in the pre-launch maelstrom wires got crossed.

However, I would like to stress that Contagious cannot be accused of running a 'sloppy article.'

Let's be clear. Steve refers to a piece on reveries.com written by StrawberryFrog's Scott Goodson. In this article, Scott talks about Contagious and uses the thinking behind our publication to discuss 'non-invasive' marketing techniques in general. The reference to the Miller/Rescue Me deal is entirely his.

Coincidentally, we do include the Miller story in our launch issue but make it clear that only the first episode of Rescue Me ran without commercial interruption. On our dvd, we even include a clip of one of the actors from the series 'thanking' the brand for this initiative.

As for the remark from TSMI Tradeshow, people should know that Contagious is not simply a 'bit more than just about viral' ... it's a LOT more. Advertiser funded programming, mobile marketing, retail design trends, teen insights, future forecasts, pop culture threads, new technology, online, ambient, instore TV...I'm beginning to sound like our sales director. Isn't that where we came in?

Steve Portigal

I checked out the magazine's site, and their "contact us" page. The copy is focused mostly on companies that might have example content they could use in future issues. And they've got all the usual fields to fill-in, and a submit button.

I filled in most of the fields - I left the phone number blank - and hit submit. I left the window and went and did some other work. I came back later and saw it hadn't taken my submission. Hmm. I tried looking at the code for the submit button - was the page messed up? After trying over and over again, hitting submit and seeing nothing happen, I finally noticed a small red asterix next to the phone number field. No text. And no error message anywhere else saying "we have to have your phone number."

First of all, they DO NOT have to have my phone number. Isn't it more likely that they'll contact by email? And second of all, there are some basic web interface standards for required fields in filling out a form that they've ignored, causing a bit of hassle for a user. Me.

But what was worse was the content of our exchange. The page, as I said, was about submissions to the magazine. I pointed them to my FreshMeat column and offered to write something in the future.

Here's what I got back:
Dear Steve

Further to your recent online request, I am delighted that Portigal Ethnographic Research wish to subscribe to Contagious.

Please find attached a more detailed account of Contagious' content, with an outline of the key drivers that will be fuelling communication professionals worldwide with insight into the changing landscape of non-invasive, infectious advertising. Also attached is a discount pre-launch order form. Simply fill this in, fax it back, and you will receive the launch issue in a couple of weeks time.

Contagious has already taken organisations by storm. We have found there to be a clear need for this sort of information, and expect Contagious to become a crucial reference tool for the entire media industry.

If you have any other queries, then I would be delighted to answer them for you.

Kind regards

Richard Newman

Richard Newman
Sales Director - Contagious

-------------
What?

Just seems like a sloppy operation that doesn't seem to understand relating to customers at all. Totally belying their entire premise, IMHO.


Steve Portigal

Interesting magazine. Sloppy article, I think. Miller didn't sponsor every episode of Rescue Me as commercial free. One or two, I believe, but definitely not the whole season. It's a detail, sure, but it's sloppy embellishment on the author's part in order to make his point (which would stand without that extra bit, wouldn't it?)

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