Canadian Magazine Industry News
11 July 2008,     TORONTO
Marketing firm halts launch of Taste magazine
 

Toronto-based marketing company Brandtrust has decided not to print the debut edition of Taste magazine, citing a lack of ad support. “We saw this as a chance for all the agricultural associations in Ontario to hop aboard and market their particular products,” says David Kalbarski, general manager of the magazine and program manager at Brandtrust. “We got 100% support of the idea off the bat. But when the time came to approach them for advertising dollars, some of them just weren't ready to commit.”

A preview edition of Taste, which covered local food and agriculture in Ontario, was tested last year. Editorial for the premiere was completed but will only be available in PDF form.

The magazine was Brandtrust's first publishing venture. “It definitely opens your eyes to the whole industry,” Kalbarski says. “Being new the endeavor, you never know what to expect. I wouldn't say it has soured us; I would go about it a different way [if we did it again in the future].”

One person who will probably benefit from Brandtrust's decision is Edible Toronto publisher Gail Gordon Oliver. With production of that local-food magazine's fifth issue under way, Oliver says "things are going "fabulously. People love the magazine…I'm having a wonderful time."

Gail Gordon Oliver
Edible Toronto has already picked up two awards since launching last fall. At the annual Eddy Awards in Charleston, South Carolina, (handed out by Edible Communities, the collective-style organization behind 50-plus "edible" magazines in North America), writer Andrew Akiwenzie's “Ancestral Traditions Kept Alive” was named best short editorial. The magazine was also recently honoured with an "Environmental Award of Excellence" (in the Health category) at the 2008 Green Toronto Awards  in April.

Oliver says the magazine is breaking even right now, but sees profitability coming “down the road.” “I need an ad sales person,” she says. “I'm still doing it on my own. We could be selling a lot more if I had the time and the ad sales skills”

Printing the magazine on 100% post-consumer recycled paper at a waterless facility (Warren's Waterless Printing) is also costly. “I could be paying about half what I'm paying now,” she says. Still, she doesn't regret the extra expenditure. “To cut down trees to put out a magazine in the Internet age didn't make sense to me.”

— M.U.
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