OFFICIAL PRISONER MAGAZINE SUSPENDED
19th May 2004: Subscribers to THE PRISONER: THE OFFICIAL FACT FILE magazine are being informed that publication is being suspended as from issue 6. Launched by DeAgostini in February (see story elsewhere in the unmutual news archive) the full colour magazine was accompanied by a DVD or video of the episode covered in that issue. Fully approved by Carlton, it carried the company logo on its covers, making it a truly official publication.
It's not totally unexpected that the magazine has gone on hold. It was only launched in certain test areas and it's not uncommon for such trial runs to be halted before completion. What DeAgostini have to do now is consider whether the sales of the test run warrant a nationwide relaunch of the magazine, starting again from issue one, in September as is rumoured.
If sales are judged to be too low for the magazine to continue, blame must partly be accepted by DeAgostini themselves. The announced target area of the West Country didn't appear to have received copies, whilst some East Midlands areas did. The subscription service was slow, annoying some subscribers (see various threads on alt.tv.prisoner). However, it has to be said that once received, readers were overwhelmed by the sheer quality of both the magazine and the DVD. This was a package that did the series proud.
It's unavoidable to mention how the attitude of a certain fan club may have affected the magazine's sales figures. Sheer spite seemed to be the reason that Six of One, (the self-titled Prisoner "Appreciation" Society) have only mentioned the official Carlton magazine once, extremely briefly, despite being aware of it since February. (In fact their so called "news" website, updated every day, failed to mention it at all!) A great pity their claimed "1,000 members" weren't given the opportunity to hear about it to subscribe to such an informative magazine and excellent DVD release. A thousand extra sales could have made a big difference in test marketing.
This is not the first time that Six of One have ignored official Prisoner merchandise. An arrogant policy of theirs that perhaps will not be looked upon favourably by their members or the licence holders, Carlton International.
UPDATE: THE MAGAZINE WAS RELAUNCHED IN DECEMBER 2003
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