Buying and selling 'space' might seem a curious concept to those not in the advertising or publishing game. But just think about the number of places you can advertise your wares - everywhere from on a tin can to a taxicab.
Dilip Patel has a nice big brick wall on a busy thoroughfare. He has had the business, Ram News, in North-east London, for three years. When he took over, the wall very tastefully advertised upmarket magazines like Harpers Bazaar and Vogue.
He eventually wondered why he was not getting paid for providing this free space and quizzed the bloke who came to change the posters. The man said he got peanuts for his work and couldn't negotiate. Dilip therefore contacted Condé Nast, the publisher.
Circulation manager Richard Kingerlee told him he would have to negotiate with the man who put up the posters and gave him his telephone number - and Richard later confirmed to me that Condé Nast does not have a budget as such to fund these sites. I suppose Dilip might have what is termed a 'prestige' site.
Dilip rang the man and tried once more to negotiate. He agreed to come and discuss it further, but instead sent another fellow who removed the frame and doubtless took it to some other free site.
This story does, I hope, have a happy ending. I put Dilip in touch with John Grant who runs Postasites (01275 371117) who told me he is always looking for sites nationwide. "I would pay more like £50 a month to a shop which lets us put a sign up, depending on its size and location."
Presumably, Mrs Persil and Mr Crunchy Nuts have big budgets to get their messages out there. Heaven knows you give them plenty of advertising space inside your store, so it would be nice if you could get a little back from advertising the same outside.