The Good News and Nothing But from FMI

Discussion
Nov 14, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) new magazine, ADVANTAGE, will “offer up nothing but warmed over positioning”, writes Ryan Mathews in an editorial, Commerce makes strange bedfellows, on the Grocery Headquarters web site.


Mr. Mathews offers the media kit for FMI’s new publication as self-incriminating evidence. “Trade journals have relied for years upon the expertise, experience and knowledge of FMI as a source for editorial content. In fact, FMI sources have been quoted in more than 43 articles appearing in Grocery Headquarters and Progressive Grocer in the past year alone. Now, the experts they quote will provide content directly to ADVANTAGE. No filter needed.”


The filter, aka the independent press, is exactly what is needed contends Mr. Mathews. He writes, “The ‘filter’ FMI so glibly suggests be removed is precisely the sole guarantor of objective, complete reporting. “Why not just go to the source?” Well, because sometimes sources lie.”


Moderator’s Comment: Are trade associations objective
enough to be reliable sources of analysis on industry issues and events?


We highly recommend a complete reading of Ryan’s editorial.
It is “spot on” as our UK contributors say.


FMI seems determined to get into the trade publishing
business. Like Ryan, however, we can’t help wondering why the association doesn’t
focus on more serious issues that need to be addressed. Among these are “a convention
that has consistently underdelivered over the past few years, serious budget
shortfalls, and concerns about leadership, vision and direction.”


We also question, as does Ryan, “If the FMI board shares
the increasingly widely heard opinion of some FMI staffers that the association’s
job is to put the independent food trade magazines out of business?”
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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