Over the years, I have spent many thousands of dollars advertising the Foxbat (and a while back now, the SportStar) in Pacific Flyer magazine – including my usual half-page in the latest and – as it turns out – the last issue.
They offer a few reasons for folding (forgive the pun). I suppose top of the list must be their declining advertising revenue, but what’s caused this?
Pacific Flyer quotes the continuing effects of CASA (over) regulation of the industry, leading to buyer deterrence and disinterest. The squabbles in RA-Aus over the last couple of years cannot have been helpful either. Maybe the overall state of the Australian economy is to blame – although Australia is among the top five most successful economies in the world, even ahead of Germany, France, UK, Japan, USA etc etc, we seem to have got cold feet about debt, whether national or personal. People are not buying so many small light aircraft at the moment and, as a result, fewer advertisers are willing to reach into their pockets. So it goes.
Something Pacific Flyer would not want to mention is unfortunately what feels like a rather basic approach to design and layout in the magazine. Sometimes the quality of the photos is not good – whether this is down to the originals or the printing process I don’t know but either way, it leans towards a more amateur look. If you compare Pacific Flyer with other professionally produced aviation magazines, it does begin to appear more like a well-produced flying club newsletter. Attractive though some may find this style, in this very competitive market place, it cannot help sales. Overtly or subliminally, this design look probably puts off more readers than it attracts – however interesting the actual content.
As I said, I have been a great supporter of the magazine over the years, both financially and socially, mentioning it to customers and others alike. They have carried a great variety of articles covering the whole range of aviation, from small single seat aircraft (one’s featured in the last issue) through to warbirds and heavier metal.
So it is a great pity that another light aviation publication goes to the wall. To all at Pacific Flyer: thank you for your magazine and good luck in your next ventures.
Now where am I going to place my next series of adverts?