The next MBM

Robin Petherbridge of Creative Partners reveals some of the tricks of the trade gleaned from 25 years creating campaigns for the marine industry

The closure of ‘Motor Boats Monthly’ may be my fault. Singing the praises of traditional printed media in my July column was possibly the kiss of death.

Speculation on MBM's demise is already rife: falling readership, the rise of digital, the decline in advertising, the shift in the market to larger boats, competition from its sister title Motor Boat & Yachting.

One way or another, its current owner, Time Inc, apparently deemed it no longer economically viable.

It's a simple enough formula: sales plus advertising revenues must exceed production and distribution costs.

And by some margin if you've big management salaries and hungry shareholders to feed.

MBM began small and lean. Its founders spotted a gap in the market, recruited a talented team, and filled that niche admirably.

MBY now caters for much bigger boats than back in 1987, so is probably even less interested in the sub-40ft bracket. Which leaves that particular gap even larger than it was at MBM's launch.

Those smaller boats and the services that go with them have to advertise somewhere.

The web is no substitute, people just don't spend time reading a screen, and online readership is anyway too capricious. Printed media that's entertaining still has its place.

A lean, independent, interesting, fun replacement for MBM would, I'm sure, be viable, and very welcome.

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