CIPS Kicks Out Redactive After 19 Years, Partners With Haymarket

The rumours have been around for some time, but it is now confirmed that after 19 years with Redactive Media, CIPS has moved its media business to Haymarket Media Group from November 1st.

That includes Supply Management magazine, website and Jobs Board, plus all the events and conference business including the CIPS SM Awards, the annual dinner, and conferences in various parts of the world.

We understand a small number of people have transferred over from Redactive to Haymarket (TUPE would have applied, we assume), including Rebecca Ellinor and Paul Snell, the recent editors of the magazine. Haymarket is privately owned and one of its founders and still the main shareholder is Michael Heseltine, previously a government Minister. The firm was struggling with high levels of debt, but re-structuring and disposals in the past couple of years seems to have put it back on a decent financial footing.

There is an interesting procurement strategy issue here. It is a broad portfolio of work from both an activity point of view (magazines, events, websites etc.) and a geographic spread. Why give all the work to one firm? That is a question of both capability and of power relationships. Haymarket clearly has a lot of experience around magazines for instance (including doing the CIPD magazine) but I can't see much evidence of their experience in running major conferences in the UAE or Australia, for instance. The perception was that Redactive maybe had not made the most of some of those new opportunities outside the UK, but we will have to see if Haymarket prove to be any better.

But to be honest, whilst we're not privy to all the CIPS thinking, we are not sure we would have come up with this single supplier approach. Consistency of approach would presumably be the big positive, but succeeding across the board will be tough for anyone.

It has also been confirmed that Supply Business magazine is dead. We suggested that some time ago - CIPS would not officially confirm that at the time but we can now offer our condolences to the late and not particularly lamented publication. We're told that a re-launched Supply Management will contain more of the "serious" content that was featured in Supply Business, and less "news" that is out of date before it gets onto paper, so we look forward to that.

It will also be interesting for us at Spend Matters to see if Haymarket's approach is different from that of Redactive, who pretty resolutely ignored our existence. (Despite this, I hope CIPS said "thanks" to Redactive, who in many areas did a pretty good job for the Institute over the years).

We think CIPS has a responsibility to highlight interesting procurement thinking and content to its members, whatever its source. Will Haymarket feel the same or will they take the hard-nosed competitive view and pretend no-one exists outside the immediate CIPS empire? We will see - watch this space. And we also hope to speak to CIPS shortly and get their perspective on the change.

Voices (2)

  1. Carl King:

    Personally, i think people need to see what transpires before hasty judgements are made. Who knows, it may be a good move, it may not, the proof as they say ‘is in the pudding’.

    However, i do think that SM got a bit staid over the past months, and it needs livening up, and certainly focus more on the members and what they do, i.e articles about buying specific items showing the pitfalls and pluses.

    Articles about agreeing contracts for things like company cars, IT items including new procurement based software, plus pieces highlighting what everyone needs to know about laws governing gifts (both giving and receiving), which is very appropriate at this time of the year.

    There also needs to be more light hearted stuff in there too otherwise it will get too boring and repetitive, which is something i have found in some issues.

    Stick a crossword competition in there similar to the Engineer, or maybe some quiz type questions based around stuff in the magazine articles.

    A letters page perhaps where people can write in with questions / problems they are having re preocurement and tehn an expert gives help / advise on how to resolve it.

    Perhaps pick a local branch each issue and do a feature on them, what they are doing, where they meet and when, and whom to contact.

    Lots of things can be done to reinvigorate SM, perhaps the editorial staff can email members and ask for their thoughts and collate the responses to see what would actually ‘sell’ SM to the readership it is aimed at, procurement professionals.

    This is the perfect opportunity to make positive changes, and the worst thing would be to do nothing at all, or not consider the views of the readership.Too many magazines have died by doing just that.

  2. DrGordy:

    maybe now the mag will have something worth reading – too much of SM of late has been about CIPS global reach and readership in UK, the core audience at one time, have little of interest. I suppose that’s in keeping with the death of local events, my local CIPS Branch hasn’t had a meeting as long as I can remember. Is part of the Charter linked with local branch events or is aimed solely at global domination and creation of the daft approach to individual Charter status. Perhaps now that the sourcing of the mag has been reviewed they might also reconsider the flawed individual chartered status, or at the very least expose it to some sort of independent review.

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