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All change for our subscriptions

Nov 19

Written by:
19/11/2009 12:29  RssIcon

Instant access to information to help address the world's problems when you shop.


At Ethical Consumer we have recently taken a decision to only sell new subscriptions which combine all our print and online products together. There are two main reasons for this.


On one level it is just a rationalisation of a complex collection of products which had evolved in an ad-hoc way over 20 years. If you wanted advice on digital cameras say, you could read the magazine, use the ethiscore website, or read lengthy research reports - all sold separately. Consumers were confused and it was getting complicated trying to explain them all to newcomers.


Perhaps more importantly, these changes are also about us re-emphasising our mission here and giving consumers a more effective tool box to take action in markets.


When we began rating companies in 1989 we felt that we should publish each element of the rating decision - on the basis that 'why would anyone believe us if we don't?' These 'Companies Sections' as we called them grew to become longer than the magazine itself and were floated off in 1995 as a separate Research Supplement. By 2009 the Companies Section for just one buyers guide averaged around 40 pages.


These Research Reports are fantastic pieces of journalism, and contain essential details for anyone seeking to seriously engage with companies on their behaviour. Yet by 2009 people were reading them in their hundreds rather than the thousands reading the magazine - partly because we were charging extra for them.


In 2005 we launched a separate ethiscore website, which summarises key rating headlines, has tools for customising ratings to individual values and also the capacity to send campaigning emails to companies about their behaviour - good and bad. Again, partly because we were charging extra, the readership never grew as high as that for the magazine.


By combining all these products together at an attractive price of £29.95 per year, we hope not only to be able to emphasise how our main concern is to paint an accurate picture of business behaviour, but also to provide consumers with the best tools we can to enable them to drive change forward. We have been working on the website for the last two months to implement these changes, which went live on Wednesday 18th Nov. Do let us know what you think.


To find out more about our new offering click here.




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