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Publishers team up to combat loss of revenue to overseas rivals

Local publishers are banding together to keep from losing millions of dollars in revenue to companies overseas.

The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce has formed a new publishing division that will allow printing and publishing businesses, that normally compete against one another, to work together to keep business on the Island strong.

Ian Coles, a spokesperson for the newly-formed division, says several foreign companies are sending sales representatives to Bermuda to sell local companies advertising in publications that are produced overseas only to be shipped back and sold here on the island.

The Chamber estimates more than $2 million in advertising revenue leaves the island each year with no financial benefit to Bermuda.

“We are aware of a number of overseas publications currently being supported by government and others and at no time have the local publishing houses been given the opportunity to bid on these titles,” Mr Coles adds. “All we are asking is that those currently contracting with overseas publications give the local publishers the opportunity to bid on the business.”

The division’s top priority is to try and keep these overseas publishers from taking so much revenue out of the local economy. It has already lobbied the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to restrict work permits which allows overseas publishers to operate here.

The division also plans to launch a media campaign aimed at educating Bermuda businesses and advertisers about the importance of contributing to the local economy by spending their limited marketing dollars on local publications.

“Some advertisers are not aware that they are supporting an overseas enterprise,” said Mr Coles. “These overseas publishers operate in direct competition to our companies that pay local taxes, employ Bermudians, rent office space and do business with a myriad of local suppliers and utilities.”

The Chamber’s new publishing division represents more than 150 full-time and 100 freelance-writers, photographers, designers and other publishing staff.

Local companies represented include The Royal Gazette, Bermuda Press Holdings, Bermuda Media, Bermudian Publishing, Media House/The Bermuda Sun, and Print Link.

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Published March 07, 2012 at 1:53 pm (Updated March 07, 2012 at 1:52 pm)

Publishers team up to combat loss of revenue to overseas rivals

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