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

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Cambridge / London - £47,000

£40000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing ...

Sauce Recruitment: Sales Executive - Consumer Exhibition - 12 month Fixed Term Con

£20000 - £22000 per annum + up to £22K + commission : Sauce Recruitment: The ...

Sauce Recruitment: Senior Sales Executive - Premium Food and Drink Events

£24000 - £26000 per annum + up to £26K + team commission: Sauce Recruitment: H...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Planning & Analysis Analyst (FP&A)- Entertainment

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A major film studio are looking ...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years