New year predictions: Barry Hibbert, Polestar

PrintWeek Team
Monday, December 29, 2014

Polestar’s CEO urges the industry at large to champion the effectiveness of print media.

What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

A hope that the recent trend in increased advertising spend in print is not a blip but a sign of things to come.

What trend (business or technology) do you think 2014 will be remembered for?

A point when 96pp web offset produced, matched or exceeded the best available gravure output, and in the digital age we produced nearly 10m TV listings magazines with huge paginations for Christmas.

What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2015 and why?

Supporting and persuading publishers and catalogue producers that print is here to stay and they should be investing in print as an important medium for consumer communication. Returns are far higher on a sales-to-spend ratio than digital can ever hope to achieve.

What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2015 and why?

Lack of investment in print designs, new launches and still more blind investment in a digital medium that simply does not delivery the return on investment for advertisers.

What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2015?

Sell print as the best way to advertise products and services and provide new investment to re establish print as the best medium for customer communication.

What was your biggest disappointment in 2014?

The realisation that outwork options are all gone!

What was your highlight of 2014?

The start-up of the 96pp presses and hitting optimum levels that were theoretical until we got the 96pp flat-out.

What are your hopes for 2015?

All of the above, but primarily that publishers will be brave and invest in new print innovations.

What was the most important thing that you learnt in 2014?

That to rely on outwork is no longer an option.  Polestar will have to, and is, becoming self-contained as overspill capacity is simply no longer there.

What if anything will you do differently in 2015?

Work fewer hours, and get to know my kids again!  2014 was an excessive year in terms of investments, closures and changes in our work mix so to spend more time at home for a lot of the people at Polestar will certainly be on the agenda.

What’s your favourite Christmas cracker joke?

I’m reading a book on gravity – I can’t put it down…

Are you making any new year’s resolutions? If so, what?

No, they are dangerous!

Who will win the Rugby World Cup in 2015?

‘Even stevens’ between the All Blacks and South Africa, unfortunately!


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