Magazine Weekly

Newly redundant? `Bounceback' magazine could help you pick up the pieces - and your ex-employer may even buy it for you

It is the sentence every worker dreads: "I'm sorry, we have to let you go." From now, however it can be followed with: "But never mind; here's your cheque and a subscription to Bounceback magazine. Feeling better already?"

Bounceback, due to be launched in July, is claiming to be the first ever UK magazine to meet the needs of those who are made redundant. Its publisher, Colin Davies, formerly of the Financial Times, editor Stewart Andersen, formerly of Boardroom magazine and his deputy Gordon Miller, also of Boardroom, have all been "let go" by their former companies and know just how painful the redundancy process can be.

"It's like a punch in the stomach," says Andersen, who has been made redundant twice, once over the telephone. "You go to the pub and someone asks, `What do you do?" and you reply, `I was made redundant.' There's an instinctive movement away from you. It's like the feeling you've got something and that it might be contagious. You acquire a kind of stigma."

"It was my concept after suffering the indignity of redundancy," adds Davies. He decided to utilise that "punched in the stomach" feeling and came up with the idea for Bounceback, which he is now selling back to human resources departments who deliver the blow to people like him. Currently a quarter of a million people are redundant, and since redundancy comes just after death and divorce in the list of emotional traumas treated by counsellors, the Bounceback team would seem to have a ready audience.

The magazine will aim to cover all areas that redundant people need to know about, including financial advice as to what to do with their settlement, how to set up a home office - for those who wish to start their own business, advice on the best buys in mobile telephones and economical cars, and planning a CV.

They identify three different strands in the redundancy market: those who now want to retire, those who want to set up their own business and those who need to find a new job.

The initial print run will be 30,000 and the magazine will be published quarterly at first, sold by subscription only, though Davies is hoping that it will later become bimonthly, when it could become available on newsstands. A website for the publication is also due to be set up later this week.

The really clever idea, however, is that rather than selling the magazine direct to unemployed individuals, the marketing effort is targeted at companies' human resources departments, in what seems like a move to shame them into a realisation of how nasty it is to "let people go".

In fact, those who think the shame culture is dead should think again. Most magazines aim to create a need that isn't really there, in order to persuade as many people as possible to buy the product. Bounceback has twisted this idea so as to create a guilt purchase instead. Large firms who lay off large numbers of staff may feel compelled to offer their departing workers a subscription, so that they appear to be doing something positive for them.

Davies admits that the greatest number of sales will come from firms rather than individuals: "In reality we're hoping that human resources departments are going to buy it in bulk as corporate subscriptions. They'll see it as a fairly reasonable part of their redundancy programme - pounds 12 for four issues - it's next to nothing, and tax deductible."

An insert in the Financial Times last Friday made this clear. As well as targeting the redundant, it also told employers and human resources managers who have had to utter the "painful sentence": "There is something more that you can do to help". It notes that it is "inexpensive for your company" - the first four issues cost pounds 12, or pounds 3.50 per issue, "a small investment to make in someone's future".

So far, a leading airline, a major transport company and a large conglomerate are all said to be interested in taking out block sales. Davies says the response to the FT insert has been "extraordinary ... quite astonishing".

Presumably the sweetest revenge for the Bounceback team would be for their former employers to take out block salesn

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Lead Systems Developer / Software Developer

COMPETITIVE + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Lead Systems Developer / Sof...

Recruitment Genius: Social Media & Engagement Manager - French or German Speaker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The world's leading financial services careers...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive - 6 Months Contract

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Digital Marketing Executive...

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Senior Account Manager

40-45K DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Manager / Senior Account Manag...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory