Note: The older content written as part of this blog was relevant at the time but may have since changed. Please don't hesitate to contact me for clarification.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FHM: THE LAST ISSUE

The last ever issue, the February 2016 one, of the 31-year-old U.K.  'lads mag' FHM has appeared on the bookshelves in Thailand - albeit in very small numbers.
If you're a magazine junkie like me I would suggest getting your copy as soon as you can. In time in will become a collectors item for certain, but the biggest question has to be what will happen to the Thai language licensed edition - published here by listed company Siam Sport.
Due to the lack of independent circulation auditing in Thailand it's hard to determine exactly how many copies the Thai edition sells, but I would suggest it's more than the U.K. edition.
I also feel the Thai edition has the potential to continue as it has managed to develop a brand name of its own here - regardless of its parent edition - and does not rely heavily on international content from that parent.
Only time will tell, but I am confident FHM Thailand will go on after its parent edition has ceased to exist.

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Monday, February 08, 2016

BBC’S HEAD FACING LAWSUIT

The BBC’s Bangkok-based Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan Head, pictured, is facing a defamation lawsuit as a result of a September 2015 report regarding two Western expatriates who were allegedly defrauded of their property investments on the island of Phuket.
The story was widely reported overseas but barely mentioned in the Thai media as I recall.
If convicted Head faces up to nine years in jail.
The BBC issued a statement from London in support of Head.
It said: “A complaint of Criminal Defamation and Abuse of the Computer Crimes Act has been made in Thailand following a report by the BBC into alleged property fraud. The BBC stands by the high standards of its journalism. As this is now a legal matter there will be no further comment.”
The overseas media does not, in general, have a good reputation among most Thais. I can see why. It’s always the ‘bad’ and ‘sensational’ news that gets reported overseas. I can also see why that happens too because good news, sadly, doesn’t attract the same levels of interest.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

ECONOMIST: HERE THIS WEEK

This shouldn't really be news, but The Economist has made it to the bookshelves in Thailand this week.
Why am I surprised?
In an article about the Luk Thep so-called angel dolls - a crazy that has been sweeping Thailand this year - there are some blatant side-swipes at the Thai government citing its "stifling rule" in conjunction with the "stumbling economy".
Over the course of the last 10 years I have seen The Economist decline to send copies to Thailand for less than this, so to see it here in all its glory is something to be celebrated.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BAD NEWS FOR PRINT AD SPENDING

According to the latest data from Mindshare Thailand, spending on magazine advertising dropped by 14.28 percent to THB 4.22 billion last year, while newspaper advertising declined by 6.45 percent year-on-year to stand at THB 12.33 billion.
Television advertising – at THB 57.52 billion – remained the most popular advertising medium in Thailand last year, although that too saw a decline of 9.8 percent according to Mindshare.

Although Internet spending grew by 11.37 percent it still accounted for just THB 1 billion of all advertising spend – a fraction of the total media spend. 
That’s not good news for any publisher who aims to solely rely on advertising revenues from their Internet-only ventures.

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PENTHOUSE, CLEO TO CEASE PRINTING

Both Penthouse and Cleo magazines have announced they will be shuttering their print editions in the coming weeks – although in the case of Australian-born Cleo the licensed editions in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand will continue to be printed.
With almost 100-years of combined print history behind them, the decision to cease printing these two magazines is sad, although the fact that Cleo will continue in Thailand shows how a “baby” can thrive at the same time its parent edition is struggling.
For the Thai edition of Penthouse I can also see it surviving – due to the fact that it doesn’t rely too much on overseas content from the parent edition. If it had to survive online alone in would likely fail because the cost of producing quality, unique content would not be matched by the level of online advertising.
Good luck for the future of both Thai licensed editions.


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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

MISSING AND MISSED

One magazine that, in print at least, has been missing from the bookshelves of Thailand for the past few months is the Cambodia-based current affairs magazine Southeast Asia Globe.
The forthright title (January cover is pictured on the right), which I initially had reservations about, is one I have grown to love for its Economist-style of “nothing-is-off-limits” style of reporting.
The good news for fans of the magazine is that it is very much alive and well, and the publishers are still hoping to have the title back on the shelves here shortly.
In the meantime, there’s always the website and the App where a complete edition of the magazine can be downloaded and read anywhere in the world.

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SAME SAME, NO DIFFERENCE

It’s quite unusual to see both of Thailand’s daily English newspapers use exactly the same front page image – but it happened on Saturday.
The story – the terror attacks that happened in Jakarta – and the images chosen by the respective picture editors, as you can see, were identical.
From my knowledge both newspapers hit the streets at roughly the same time so neither would have had prior knowledge or sight of the competitors’ front page.
Although The Nation is not subjected to an independent circulation audit, both newspapers probably have a combined daily circulation of around 50,000.
English is still a very niche publishing language in Thailand.

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