[This post has been updated]The president of the Canadian Forest Products Association, Avrim Lazar, brought a blunt message to the American Magazine Conference[It has been pointed out that this video was not made this year, but was from 2008, for which we apologize. Rather than simply deleting the post, we are amending it and leaving it up. In fact, the sentiments expressed as as apt today (perhaps more so) than they were two years ago. -- DBS]
last week about a possible consumer backlash against paper-based publishing products like magazines. He called on publishers to respond as leaders to the changing attitudes of consumers towards their printed products.
Advertising Age put up this brief video selection from his presentation. Here's a partial transcript:
"There is a danger that the paper, instead of contributing to the field and the identity [of a magazine] will undermine it," he said."You might think of pulp and paper as the most lumpen product possible. But if you don't do the right thing by the environment, it will be the commodity that is the message.
People will feel that they are pigs, that they are dinosaurs, that they are not with it because they're buying your magazine. The attitude of consumers, and it has changed quite a bit over the past little while -- they used to be worried only about local, environmental problems. Now, overwhelmingly, they say it's global. Perhaps most importantly for you, they used to think it was industry's fault; they now think it's shared.
More than 80% of consumers think they are as responsible as business with fixing the environment. And they focus on waste. They think their own wastefulness, the magazine racks being full, the catalogues, are what's destroying the planet. And even though the economy is in bad shape, they know this is not going to go away.
The global GDP is going to double over the next 20 years; think of it. All the pollution and the environmental pressure that we now experience doubling. And the only way to deal with it is to take a leadership position. To get ahead, to make certain that the paper you are printing your magazines on is legally harvested, from places that are regenerated, inviting outside scrutiny, promoting recovery and dealing with climate change."