The UK market for free standing inserts (FSIs) grew by 20.5%, between 1998 and 2000 according to figures released yesterday by the Direct Marketing Association (UK).

Until 1998 data was based solely on estimates. The latest figures are furnished for the first time by newspaper and magazine proprietors - all UK national newspapers and 160 leading magazines (from a universe of 2,300 titles). This reveals a total of 5.30 billion FSIs generating an estimated media spend of £134 million - based on an averaged cost of £25 per thousand.

The true figures are even higher, points out Philippa Dunn, vice-chair of the DMA Inserts Council: “Every national newspaper is on board, which means we now have a true representation on the size of that market. We still have a way to go with magazines, but we can now make an informed estimate on the total size of the magazine market against the figures provided by those involved. Our next step is to work at getting all the magazine groups on board for the benefit of the whole industry".

Additional research carried out by Steve Hickman, head of non-broadcast media at Britain's largest dm agency, WWAV Rapp Collins, shows FSI volumes to have more than trebled over the last decade, valuing the market at around £500 million in 2000.

“This doesn't even include door to door or third party inserts,” observes Hickman, “yet still makes the industry bigger than outdoor or radio. And, as a consumer advertising medium, loose inserts alone are fourth behind TV, national press and magazines.”

The Inserts Council will now focus its efforts on persuading all magazine owners to provide their FSI figures to the DMA in confidence. The trade body plans to release updated volume data on a quarterly basis.

News source: Direct Marketing Association (UK)