The contract involved Cape Media publishing Blue Chip as the FPI’s official journal. The dispute revolves around the delivery of the March/April edition of Blue Chip and the apparent use of the FPI database by Cape Media after the contract was cancelled, despite the FPI’s claims that Cape Media may no longer use the database.
Mersey Booysen, FPI general manager of marketing, says according to the contract, Blue Chip became the official journal of the FPI and the database of over 11,000 professional financial planners was handed over to Cape Media to allow them to distribute the magazine to its members.
“In September last year, the FPI gave Cape Media six months’ notice that it would no longer be using Blue Chip as the official journal of the FPI and Cape Media would therefore not be entitled to use the database after the last magazine was distributed in February,” she says.
The agreement was then extended to the March/April edition while the FPI cemented plans to launch a new official journal.
“We are yet to receive our March/April edition (which should have been posted by Cape Media in the first week of April) which has not been received by either the FPI office or the members (from which we have received many complaints) as this was the last negotiated edition and for which Cape Media has received revenue for from our corporate partners,” Booysen said on Monday (19 May).
The FPI is also challenging Cape Media’s apparent use of the database after the contract was terminated. Booysen says telesales agents contacted her to update her details for future editions of Blue Chip. She adds that the contract required Cape Media to obtain permission in writing from the FPI for the use of confidential information. TheMediaOnline has confirmed from another member of the FPI database that they were contacted by Cape Media after the contract had expired to try to update their details for Blue Chip magazine.
Mark Fortuin, Blue Chip project manager, acknowledges that FPI members were contacted after the contract was cancelled, but contends that FPI members information can be accessed through the FPI website and that the database is therefore “in the public domain”.
“The magazine was posted on the 14!_LT_SUPth!_LT_/SUP of May to members. While the magazine was due to be posted in April, there was a delay in getting it out. It’s not the first time the magazine has been delayed. On occasion when copy has come in late, the magazine has been delayed. The FPI is aware of this,” he says.
However, Fortuin declined to comment on why the March/April edition was delayed.
Blue Chip‘s future
According to the ABCs for the period October 2007 to December 2007, Cape Media printed 12,701 copies on a bi-monthly basis. This means that the FPI database accounted for most if not all of Blue Chip‘s distribution.
Fortuin says Cape Media has put in place plans to account for the loss of the FPI as a partner to Blue Chip magazine.
“We have secured new partners for the magazine. Blue Chip will now be delivered to the wealth managers at those partners and to their clients. We will be announcing the partners’ names shortly along with a launch date for the new magazine,” Fortuin says.
‘The Financial Planner’
Booysen says the FPI will be launching its new journal, The Financial Planner, at its convention on the 28!_LT_SUPth!_LT_/SUP and 29!_LT_SUPth!_LT_/SUP of May.
“We are using Tony Van Niekerk, who also publishes Cover Magazine, an insurance industry related publication, as the publisher. We wanted to have a magazine that was written by financial planners for financial planners and the aim of The Financial Planner is to cement the identity of the FPI as an industry body and provide quality content to its members,” she says.
The FPI is part of The Financial Planner‘s editorial board and the magazine will be published on a bi-monthly basis, covering all the news Blue Chip previously covered on the industry as well as issues on practice management, education and FPI news, Booysen says.