Fishing Lines: Champagne moment was a coarse joke

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre owe me a darned good lunch and several glasses of champagne. That's what I was expecting when I travelled to a Rugby hotel for the launch of a new fishing magazine. What I got was an empty car park and apologetic staff.

"I'm afraid the launch has been cancelled. We've no idea why."

I was hungry and cross and uninvited. The publisher was only about 10 miles away. I drove there and demanded: "Where's my champagne?"

Turned out he was just as peeved as I was. The occasion should have been David Hall Publishing's biggest launch, the highlight the advertisement that will be appearing 143 times on TV over the next few weeks. Or would have been, except the BACC didn't like it.

"One of their queries was: 'How do we know these are great anglers?'," said David Hall, spitting blood. "Three solid days of dealing with things like that meant we had to call off the launch. We just didn't have an agreed ad to show." The launch of Total Coarse Fishing, however, is going ahead, ad or no ad. The momentum is too great for a few bureaucrats to derail it now. Hall owns Britain's largest angling publisher, but he is still a minnow. His new magazine is going head to head with the star angling title of Emap, one of publishing's monster pike.

Sounds like a good way to lose his hand-made shirt. But Hall is determined, smart, quick-witted - and he knows all the advertisers. He is still hungry, and he wants those 75,000 (and more) readers that Emap's prize monthly once boasted. He has even recruited Gareth Purnell, the former editor of the Emap title.

The launch marks a new level for Hall. Just a decade ago, he owned one small magazine that was going nowhere. He looked to have his best years behind him. At 28, he had been the managing director of an international company, with all the trappings: London flat, E-type, first-class travel. One day he phoned up and said: "I'm not coming in again. Ever."

He sat around for a year, then did what he wanted, which was to launch a fishing magazine. He knew nothing of publishing, print, editing, libel. But Coarse Fisherman was like a burst of sunlight on a stagnant market, and he got the chance to meet his heroes.

For 20 years, he drifted with the current. Then he realised that he could achieve a whole lot more. He told me, only half in jest, a couple of years ago: "I'm building a dynasty." He now employs 70 people, nearly all in their 20s.

"The best thing I ever did was going with youth," he said. That said, he believes that most readers of the new title will be older, people who don't want to catch lots of fish, but bigger ones.

"The market's also changed," he said. "It has to look fantastic, but these days, anglers don't just want how-to-catch-'em [articles]. They want some stories too. At least, I hope so. Otherwise I'm stuck with £250,000 worth of line for cover mounts."

Then the phone rings. The advertisement has finally been cleared. Can Jack slay the giant? At least he's got permission to plant the beanstalk.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
News
Williams says: 'The reason I got jobs was because they would blow the budget on the big guys - but they only had to pay me the price of a cup of tea'
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee