Forward wins battle to produce AA Magazine

Centrica-owned Automobile Association has appointed Forward to produce the AA Magazine, following a three-way pitch against Haymarket and incumbent John Brown Citrus Publishing (JBCP).

However, JBCP will continue to work with the AA and produce listings magazines aimed at the leisure sector such as hotels.

John Brown won the title two years ago, before it merged with Citrus Publishing. At the time, the AA terminated its relationship with Redwood and appointed JBCP without a pitch (MW February 1, 2001). The account, which had been with Redwood since 1994, was believed to be worth more than £5m a year in revenue.

Forward will produce the first magazine in October. The title is produced three times a year and targets the AA’s 4.8 million members.

AA director of sales and marketing Clare Salmon says: “The AA Magazine is an important communication device for us. But we recognise that the magazine has to work more effectively as a marketing tool, and so in future we will be testing more sophisticated segmentation to answer individual needs and interests.”

According to the latest Audit of Bureau of Circulations figures for June to December 2002, the AA Magazine has a circulation of 4,961,341.

Last year, the AA embarked on a £22m repositioning as a multi-layered company, in an effort to be seen as more than just a breakdown service (MW May 16, 2002). As part of the relaunch, the company introduced a £12m advertising campaign created by M&C Saatchi, with the strapline “Just Ask”.

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