#1524 Pulp magazine’s publisher in voluntary liquidation

Like I said back in March, New Zealand’s magazine market is well and truly over saturated. How all those indie titles manage to stay afloat while competing for the same advertising dollar is beyond me. The truth is – they’re not all managing to stay afloat. Reports surfaced in the weekend that Pulp Media, the publishing company that owns Auckland based fashion and culture magazine Pulp has gone into voluntary liquidation. Citing a one-off slump in advertising revenue in its final issue, liquidator Damien Grant of Waterstone Insolvency said that Pulp Media’s final estimated shortfall would be “less than $100,000.” Waterstone hopes to sell the company as a going concern. This is a sad day for local publishing, but it should also serve as an eye opener. With such high competition in the marketplace, magazines must offer something truly distinctive and unique in order to get those circulation numbers and advertising revenues up – especially when so much content is now available online. Say no to rehashed press releases and bought-in fashion stories. The need for insanely-good original content has never been higher.


The following email was just passed on to me by a Pulp contributor who wishes to remain nameless – it was sent out on Saturday by the magazine’s final editor, Courtney Sanders.

Subject: Bad Buzz News


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but alas here it is.

Pulp Magazine ceased to exist earlier this week. On Monday the 13th of September I was informed that not only would the Spring Issue was not going to print, but that Pulp Magazine would not continue to trade.

It was a complete shock, with no prior warning, and has taken the last couple of weeks to fully sink in.

Many of you worked extremely hard on the issue, whether it was providing words, pictures or assisting in the production of the pages. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all, many for the first time, and working together to create content that was really quite beautiful and intelligent.

If I have learnt anything over the past seven weeks, it’s that there are amazing creatives in this country, many of whom don’t have an outlet for their work, so I will be working hard to facilitate this in some way going forward.

In the mean time please get in touch regarding creative projects or work. I will be available for freelance writing and styling from here on out.

Again, my sincerest apologies to all of you who worked so hard on the magazine, but with every end there is a new beginning and I look forward to collaborating down the track!



Courtney Sanders

RIP Pulp.


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  1. CJ says

    Good news, I have heard that Pulp is to be re-launched with a new owner who has lots of energy and good publishing experience so look for it in February!

  2. I Like YOU! says

    This is indeed sad news. I am of the opinion that print is on it’s way out. Working for APN for nearly 3 years, in the national call centre and in sales helped to prove just how little demand there is in print – albeit local/national newspapers.

    It’s a generation thing to a certain extent, baby boomers want their daily newspaper as do my parents in their early 50s – but their numbers are dwindling, subscriptions are down, print corp’s are closing and people complain that they read everything ‘on-line’ the day before the paper printed.

    It’s a sad fact that the battle for print VRS online is slowing being lost by the former. Information and ‘insanely-good original material’ is available on-line every minute of every day, so I think the question is; how does a print publication make the transition to web, keep their advertising numbers up and content fresh? How do they keep this new breed of readership with their lust for immediacy happy?

  3. Lucyvonsturmer says

    Magazines can do two things better than the web – immortalize content. By immortalize I simply mean they provide a legitimate space where fashion shoots, art etc can be published and readers can ‘keep’ their work. It’s tactile – people want that and publishing something on the net just isn’t the same no matter how established the blog or site…

    Secondly – Magazines, well the good ones anyway – pay. Writers have an incentive to actually research, think, re-write, investigate and ultimately, provide something unique – something well thought out, something bloggers ( most) just can’t be arsed doing.

    Yes there is a lot of content on the web – but is most of it ( Isaaclikes aside) provides no original content. There are thousands of “me, me me” sites, but only a rare few provide anything critical, analytical and just plain – well, interesting.

    I like blogs, don’t get me wrong. I like flicking between them for mere minutes, sometimes seconds, but I LOVE buying a rag and sitting down and reading it. Leaving it on my coffee table, returning to it a few years back.

    I think it’s sad Pulp has come to end, but like Courtney said – something better will turn up as a result of it.

    Perhaps Pulp lost it’s identity a few years back – a lot of the articles were not what magazine articles should be ( they read like crappy personalized blog entries).

    So I say, no it’s not the death of print –

    Viva la print – but quality print at that!

  4. Jamie says

    There definitely will always be a place for magazines, but there ARE just too many in NZ. There’s something about a hard copy that cannot be replaced by a virtual one, unfortunately there isn’t a place for quite so many.

    I really like buying magazines, and buy 2-3 a month, but with soo many out I pick the ones with the most and best original editorials, for a nice decent print; to look back on and to inspire me for future ideas. I see them as a cheaper, more contemporary alternative to buying art books. (I’m a photography student)

    What a shame about pulp, but perhaps with less magazines, better content could be injected into the remaining ones.

  5. says

    Being an avid magazine consumer I just have to say so many of the fashion,lifestyle,culture magazines here seem to have far too much emphasis on Auckland-rarely featuring articles,fashion,designs past the Bombay hills..Hence I stopped buying them years ago..Same,same..

  6. Marcus says

    I totally agree with Jamie. I don’t think print can be replaced and in someways Pulp’s demise should be a warning to other NZ based mags that you can’t compete with the immediacy of the internet. There are definitely certain magazines in NZ like Fashion Quarterly and Remix who’s stories seem to come kit n kin with their ads. It seems so condescending to the consumer to have a story about about the new Juicy Couture perfume two pages away from an ad advertising the same thing. It fools nobody and undermines the consumer and the integrity of the brand itself. Understandably magazines make their money for advertising but surely there is a better way to do it.
    And don’t get me wrong i think there are a few of the newer NZ magazines that do it right, great stories with cool editorial and ideas. I recently went to sydney and in a mag store there saw issues of Pilot and NO. So cool to see that these local mags work on an international level (and after talking to the store assistant), actually better their Aussie counterparts.
    Stink that Pulp is gone as i thought there was a place for it but hopefully it wakes a few people up and and advertising brands realize that they are fooling no one.

  7. Esther says

    not fashion related but magazine related – the october issue of real groove will be its last before they ‘merge’ with groove guide

  8. Carwynism says

    I think it is sad that magazines are facing collapse but I can’t help thinking that whilst it is on one had symptomatic of ‘our times’ it may also be a darn good time for a cull!

    Staying in the culling (agricultural), vein, Pulp’s undesireable traits were trying to do too much. Doing a lifestyle type magazine requires the same level of quality to be evident in all areas of focus, this just wasn’t the case. Some editorial felt sampled from other sources and the images stock-standard.

    Aside from this it was battling the plehtora of magazines produced here, which all seem have the same stench of pretentiousness, causing them to blur into one. NO which was origially captivating in it’s interlinking of people (no matter how tenuous), but has now fallen victim to it’s own charm. Karen is interchangeable and doomed to fail, Black is the only which I feel has some sort of hope. It always manages to do something quirky and new, like actually new.

    We must also remember that these magazines are competing with hefty (literally), international contenders which makes it hard when they appear to have unlimited funds and mass dissemination.

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