John Allison (recently of Scottish Life International) was one such recipient – though he was not amused. He was running a small marketing consultancy called Money Marketing at the time and thought we had nicked his name. Nor was the Financial Times amused as it thought that it somehow had a monopoly on all things pink.
Money Marketing was launched into a market led by a couple of long-running and rather tired (at the time) insurance weeklies – Post Magazine and Insurance Week.
Despite my efforts to persuade a number of publishers otherwise, only Centaur (known for Marketing Week) was prepared to listen to my exhortations that it made no sense to write about all aspects of insurance – from underwriting oil wells in Abu Dhabi to single-premium bonds – in just one publication.
There was, after all, a whole new world out there. Life companies had launched unit trusts, regulation was around the corner and the term IF A was about to be coined – by whom, I am still not quite clear. I would like to think I invented it but I do not think I can claim the credit. Maybe it was Julian Gibbs, whose services as a columnist featured from the start.
Julian, of course, was just one of many memorable personalities involved in the launch of Money Marketing. First and foremost, there was Anthony Nares, the publisher in charge of the launch and without whose involvement the paper would probably not have happened. Tragically, Anthony was killed in an avalanche in 1996 while skiing at Klosters.
Then there was our brilliant first news team, headed by deputy editor Simon Jones who, I think, enjoyed his final fling with mammon before deserting to God and becoming a Baptist minister. And there were great reporters such as Gillian Bowditch, Paul Slade and Teresa Hunter – fresh faces for a lively tabloid.
A common question at the time was whether there would be enough news to fill the pages. I would always laugh. News there certainly was – Big Bang (and our own private fireworks display in the middle of Clapham Common, which embarrassingly caused a car crash), the 1987 crash and, of course, regulation, regulation and more regulation…
But the thing that really got the paper talked about from the start was not the news at all. It was Out of Context. Let’s get these things into perspective.