Danilo’s managing director, Daniel Prince, despite prompting, is still awaiting a response from the Business Secretary, Greg Clark to his letter in which he urged the government to consider recompensing calendar and diary publishers and retailers who are affected by the very late call on changing the date of next May’s first Bank Holiday to accommodate the 75th anniversary VE Day celebrations.
The government’s decision to switch next year’s early May Bank Holiday from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May with less than 11 month’s notice has caused havoc for calendar and diary publishers, many of whom have already printed the 2020 dated items are shipping them to stores now. Environmental waste and cost preclude the products being reprinted with publishers and retailers working together to agree on how best to ensure the consumer is alerted as to the correct date. Remedies include additional point of sale, over stickering or inserting a notification leaflet into the affected products.
Daniel feels that the situation “highlights the need for there to be a Calendar Association like there is the GCA for greeting cards so we can work as together to support businesses in the sector by lobbying Government to reimburse the costs that we’ve had to incur due to the late change to the Bank Holiday date. And to highlight the issue so that this late date change doesn’t happen again and the Government considers the implications in both monetary and logistical terms of making such decisions with just 11 months to go.”
PG Buzz shares just some of the other reactions from those in the industry to the change of date.
David Pike, managing director of Calendar Club and ceo of Carousel Calendars:
“We were shocked to read of the change of the Bank Holiday at such short notice. Of course we understand the thinking behind the change and it is great to highlight VE Day, but to announce the change with only eleven months’ notice has a significant impact on our industry. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy claims to have considered the practical implications for moving the Bank Holiday, but they do not appear to have considered the impact on the calendar and diary publishers and retailers.
Our publishing business Carousel Calendars has printed the vast majority of its calendars and Calendar Club has found the same to be true of all of its key suppliers. It would be prohibitively expensive for publishers to consider re-printing these calendars to include the change in the Bank Holiday. Our understanding is that a number of retailers are dealing with this change by highlighting it in their point of sale material and Calendar Club is still considering whether it does this, or goes further to make sure that the change is highlighted on each calendar. Our concern is that most calendars are purchased as a gift and our concern is for the ultimate recipient and user of the calendar – they will not necessarily have seen the point of sale notification of the change in the Bank Holiday.
Whichever route we take, there can be no doubt that there will be costs involved and an impact on customer service. We believe the Government should acknowledge the impact of this decision on businesses like ours, offering some form of compensation, or at least an apology for the lack of thought for our industry that appears to have gone into this decision.”
Daniel Prince, managing director of Danilo:
“It goes without saying that it would have been so much easier for the entire industry if we’d known earlier to accommodate our print runs. That said, all our dated products display a disclaimer for any errors and omissions under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 which states that the Government can change or alter dates at any notice. But, I’ve personally written to the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, to express my concerns and to ask whether the government is considering recompensing those businesses that are affected.
We produce both licensed calendars and diaries each year and we are more fortunate than some in that 80% are not yet printed. Most of our pop, football and entertainment calendars are yet to be printed, as they have to be current, and include the latest images available for their respective fans. The diaries are a different issue as they are all printed and bound which proves more of a problem as they’re due to be delivered to retailers from next month.”
Jack Straw, md of BrownTrout: “This very late announcement is very annoying, but we now have 90% of all calendars and diaries already printed and on ships from the Far East. Two of our largest customers receive the BrownTrout calendars direct from our factories in Korea. There is no opportunity to intervene to somehow adjust these products. It presents a logistical nightmare that, in my view, is not worth contemplating.
Since the announcement we have adjusted the date grid for titles still in production. Any reprints will also be altered to reflect the change in bank holiday date.
I personally believe that the publicity surrounding this change already, allied to the inevitable build-up to the actual day will overcome any ‘problems’ caused by an incorrect date in the calendar. Whilst BrownTrout as a company hate to publish a product that we know is incorrect, we believe that the cost and disruption that trying to alter over 1,000 individual titles involves is just not a viable option in the circumstances.
Not that it will do much good, but the industry should be making its feelings known to the relevant government department about such late date changes. The reality is that we need to know about such things a good six to nine months prior to the goods being delivered here. In this case, we should have been told about this change in December 2018 at the latest – which is almost 18 months before the actual date in question!”
Andrew Bennett, md of Allan and Bertram, a publisher of corporate (B2B) calendars appeared on the BBC news discussing the issue:
“We totally agree that it is right to celebrate VE day and moving the Bank Holiday seems entirely sensible but waiting so late is just unacceptable. We are now having to-reprint vast amounts of stock to ensure out calendars are correct. As with all calendar manufacturers, our stock is prepared well in advance and almost everything is printed for 2020. It is hugely frustrating, and we feel that the Government simply hasn’t considered the implications; this change could have easily been decided a year ago, but it wasn’t, and we are faced with dealing with the consequences.”
As a B2B publisher (as it produces calendars for businesses), it took the decision to reprint the May 2020 leaves.
Fellow B2B publisher, Rose Calendars, in keeping with the war effort is adopting a ‘Keep Calm’ pledge over the VE-Day date change.
As Michael Rose, md of (the fourth generation to run the calendar company) relayed “We have had to spring into action to ensure our customers get the right date in their 2020 calendars, so will be replacing the May month leaf and we are producing a 75th Anniversary commemorative sticker set to highlight the occasion. As a reminder of the date, these stickers can be used not only on calendars, but on other promotional materials to really highlight the event.”
Chairman Chris Rose recalls how Rose Calendars faced difficult circumstances 75 years ago during the war when employees were in active service and supplies such as paper were difficult to procure. These challenges were met however, and despite the war calendars continued to be printed to meet customer demand and were printed on whatever paper could be found.
Top: Friday 8 May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day.