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A strange way to do business

About a year ago, I accepted an invitation to subscribe to  Luxury Travel  magazine, published by the Haymarket Media Group.   I have enjoyed reading it up to now, and always  passed copies on to clients and colleagues when I’d finished with it.   Anyway, just now I took a telephone call.   It started with the usual “Can I speak to Paul Johnson?” – something I’m always a little wary of if I don’t recognise the caller’s voice, as we get a lot of sales calls in the office.   Once it was established that this person was just wanting to update my details for my subscription to the magazine, I gladly took the call.   I was happy to answer the questions regarding my name and address, but not questions regarding how much  my company spends on travel or other  details which I considered to be personal.  As a consequence of  politely declining  to answer these questions, I was  told  in no uncertain terms that my subscription will be terminated. That’s fine by me but, if that’s the case, I won’t be recommending it to my colleagues and/or suggesting they advertise in it. I trust  they understand.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. Yes, Courtney… the subscription is free. At least for me it had been – paid alternatives may also be available, I’m not sure. So, of course, they have every right to deny subscription to anyone they wish. It just seems a very strange way of going about it. They didn’t have this information from me in the past so why did they need to know it now, I wonder?


  2. I was very upset to see you had an unpleasant experience with Haymarket in regards to Luxury Travel Magazine as I myself am a regular visitor to your web sight. As you can imaging Haymarket is a very large company with many departments ‘I don’t know if this John Johnson was having a bad day’ but to answer your question in short Luxury travel magazine is a very targeted publication and is aimed to inspire luxury travel buyers from around the world, we need to make sure that the circulation is going out to the right type of people / businesses and thus needs to keep tight control of its circulation. The information we try to gather of course is for marketing purposes. We pride our self’s on the editorial content and features but the magazine does not run it’s self and is highly reliable on the advertising that goes into each issue (Just like your web sight)

    I would be more than happy to keep sending you copies if you wish, but this does not mean that the magazine and every one associated with it is bad…

  3. Hi Jason

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Of course you’re not all bad! My comments were a little in the heat of the moment as I had just put the ‘phone down. I just felt a little irritated and the blog seemed an ideal venue to vent that frustration. Out of interest, would this be normal policy? ie. to decline subscriptions if people declined to answer certain questions. I totally understand that you need to be able to monitor your readership and ensure that the magazine ends in the hands of the right people, but to reject people on the basis that they don’t wish to divulge certain pieces of confidential information seems a little harsh.

    Anyway, thanks for clearing it up… I’ll drop you an email to get the matter resolved.

    Best wishes


    PS – Didn’t quite follow the reference to ‘John Johnson’ – I guess there was a bit of confusion there with my own name. I don’t actually know the name of the person who called me.

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