Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Guardian: Even Smaller Than They Claim

Since the launch of The Guardian's new format, I keep finding sections are missing. I've managed to live without the Education and Society supplements but today I had no G2. So I phoned their helpline.
They initially tried to blame the retailer. But my retailer says they are getting incomplete Guardians from the wholesaler. They then admitted it was a widespread problem. Apparently it will be solved in a few weeks' time when the papers are automatically assembled at their new print works.

It seems to me this is a very serious problem for The Guardian. There's been a substantial circulation increase since the relaunch. Whilst people like me are unlikely to desert the paper, new readers who find they are paying 60p and getting only 30p's worth of paper aren't going to stick with it very long.
Why didn't they delay the launch until the printing plants were fully functional and able to assemble the different parts of the paper?

It's Sod's Law that the new Sport supplement is never missing from my copy. But since their advertising is focusing on the new Sport supplement, it will be pretty disastrous if some new readers aren't getting it.
They will post you any parts that are missing but that's not much consolation. Reading old newspapers is like eating the remains of last night's takeway meal.


At 9:29 PM, Blogger zaphod said...

You could try the Sun Mr Lupin. I bought it once but Mrs Zaphod hated it.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Steve said...

They have pressed ahead with the launch, regardless of delays and shortfalls, because some pro-active, totally focussed, challenge-centered, self-motivator told the board that everything was hunky dory.

It'll be on his CV already, and the next organisation that employs the socially-challenged prick will reap what they sow.


At 9:54 PM, Blogger cello said...

Mmm. Or her CV.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Mr Zaphod: no Murdoch paper ever crosses my threshold. But you probably guessed that and were being mischievous.

steve: that's certainly one interpretation.
Of course, no re-launch of that scale could be expected to go without a hitch. But what the chap at the call centre told me implied some systemic failure.
It could be that they expected the print works to be fully functional by the launch. But if they knew that papers would not be collated at source for the first few weeks then that seems pretty reckless to me.

cello: at least the TV ads are top quality. Dissapointing, because I was all geared up to be rude about them.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Betty said...

So that's why my copy of the Review was missing from Saturday's Guardian. Every week it features classical composers, novelists, dancers and playwrights I've never heard of, underlining the fact that I'm a thick, undereducated prole, but I was a bit miffed as I thought the Guardian was just aiming at the lowest common denominator and denying older readers their usual choice. Just teething troubles after all then.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Urban Chick said...

well, after registering with media guardian online, i have just received a letter from the guardian weekly trying to entice me to subscribe

what does it all mean?

perhaps this is a subtle means of suggesting i migrate to ulaan bataar*

*and yes, that is the correct number of 'a's

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

If I keep on at them like this, they'll be sending me hints too.


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