When The Spectator magazine launched its Australian edition some years ago, I couldn’t find it in the newsagent's. I asked the newsagent.
‘Yes,’ he beamed. ‘The Spectator! We have it! It’s in the sporting section down the back!’ There it was next to Runner’s World and Fly Fishing and Gun Dog. I didn’t say anything, but some weeks later it had been moved to the current events and politics section next to The Economist and Time and BRW, so I suppose someone else did.
The cover price of The Spectator has doubled from $4.50 to $8.95 over the last decade, so I was surprised to find an ad in the current issue offering a gift subscription at $139. That’s $2.673076923076923 a copy, a discount of 76.0759615%. I like to be precise.
Fine. Your gift recipient gets the magazine and you get the credit, having paid a quarter of the price. Further, if he or she is in the same household, you get to read the magazine anyway. She is, and I will.
But there was something else in the deal; an incentive. They send the magazine subscription donor a $75 Cellarmasters gift voucher!
I get rewarded with a case of red wine for being cheap with a gift!
Or you can look at it this way: that $75 value brings your Spectator price back to $1.23076923 a copy.
As I’ve noted in the past, things must be tough in magazine circulation land right now. But I must add, I’d much rather $75 worth of Heathcote shiraz than a telescope. Sign me up.