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Leader OnThe Cards


So a new year has dawned! Why is it that at the start of something - be it a day, a holiday, a year - that time seems to move at a much more leisurely pace than towards the end? This was certainly the case with 2014, which ended in a frenzied flash. We are still waiting for the true dust to settle to gain a more


accurate picture of whether Christmas 2014 was a cracker or a turkey, or somewhere in between, but certainly we, as an industry, benefited from the fair wind of media coverage. It was wonderful timing for BBC Breakfast to dedicate so much of one of its mid December programmes to effectively encourage the nation to send their Christmas cards. Sharon Little, chief executive of the GCA, who appeared on location (at a Royal Mail sorting office in Exeter) with BBC presenter Steph McGovern, made the most of the opportunity to ram home the hard facts (that we send a billion Christmas cards each year) as well as the important soft ones (the emotional potency of someone receiving a hand- written card), but the proof that we are certainly not a dying industry was adjacent to where the interview was taking place - the haul of red, white and gold envelopes containing Christmas cards that were making their way up the conveyer belt to be sorted and then delivered. This, added to the swathe of


positive interest from national, regional and even international radio programmes, plus newspapers, gave us more Christmas cheer than we have had for years. Yes of course there were a few


niggles, we have a free press after all - the Daily Mail included a barrage about how Scribbler was selling rude cards (so what’s new? And I expect Scribbler picked up some extra


Above: (Right-left) 'Paper Princess Debbie Wigglesworth, PG's Jakki Brown, Geoff Sanderson (Moonpig/Paper Shaker) and paper artist Elod Beregaszaszi (who created this special Paper Wish grotto that was made out of paper) and installed in Fedrigoni's London offices. Below centre: PG’s Warren Lomax (centre) recovering from an operation on his ankle at the recent GCA Past Presidents’ Gathering with Terry Anderson (left) and William McCracken (who is a former special advisor to the GCA). Below: Belly Button founder Rachel Hare (left) with PG's Jakki Brown in Selfridges where the publisher ran pop-up events creating personalised Christmas cards. Bottom left: PG's Jakki Brown (left) with the GCA's Sharon Little at the GCA/PG Festive Friday event which brought together office workers and pensioners from the local day centre to write Christmas cards, donated by GBCC and The Art File.


customers as a result) and the Daily Telegraph printed some of its ‘favourite rude’ Christmas designs (festively using symbols of Christmas puddings to cover up the expletives) and then there was the furore over one card design that Clintons stocked that centred around a joke about Santa living in a council flat that the retailer withdrew, but this was pretty much it. And after all, Christmas


card designs have always been a subject of controversy - the very first one, introduced by Sir Henry Cole 171 years ago, so riled the puritans of the day (the Muggletonians), as it featured a family drinking, that they ransacked the Bond Street shop in which they debuted and destroyed many of them! Compared to that, a few column inches in the Mail is nothing. And with PR now a top priority for the GCA to further raise the


industry’s profile, whether you are a publisher, retailer or supplier, we seem to be off to a good start - and it’s only January! Have a happy and prosperous New Year.


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