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Another day and another magazine review. Apologies for doing two in a row. I wouldn't normally, but I had a reply to my product proposal for Candis the other day, just as I was in the middle of my Bella offering. However, they are different magazines with different styles, so I hope it's not too boring !
I started reading Candis about 4 years ago. A very nice elderly lady knocked on our front door and sold an issue to us. I don't normally buy things from door to door salespeople, but this lady wasn't your typical 'rep'. She explained about the magazine and about the Club, and let me have a look at it. It only cost around £2 back then, and so I decided to try it out. I paid my money, and she said that she'd be back next month to see if I wanted to buy the next issue. After reading it, I did buy the next issue, and have been buying it ever since.
What Is Candis Magazine ? ****************************** Candis is a monthly magazine for Candis Club members.
The most striking thing about it is the size of it. It is around A5 size, and this sets it apart from most magazines immediately. It is great for putting in your handbag, or even in a back pocket. It makes great toilet reading. By that, I don't mean that its contents are dirty ! I mean that its size makes it less obvious that you partake in this kind of reading in your bathroom. Of course, I never do this...
Another unusual thing about this magazine is that you can't buy it in any shop. Not a good idea for an economic concern you may say. So how do you buy it ? You become a Candis Club member and buy it on subscription or from the salespeople who come to your door.
One more surprising thing about Candis is that it is one of the best-selling women's monthly magazines in Britain. More people subscribe to it than any other women's monthly, and that includes Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.
What Does It Contain ? ************************* Candis is described as a magazine for women, but I think that it is one for both sexes to enjoy. It does not contain your typically female-orientated articles or features. There are no glossy fashion spreads, or problem pages about boyfriend trouble, and no advice about make-up and beauty.
It is not really a magazine for all you youngsters out there either. On its website, Candis describe its readers as being over 35, and so that JUST includes me.
Each issue has its regular items. There is always at least one celebrity interview both with British and foreign stars. The April issue contains an interview with John Travolta, and next month the interview is with Helen Mirren. Past ones have included Halle Berry, Gillian Anderson, Felicity Kendal, and Julian Clary.
Other regular features are entertainment reviews,an opinion article by Polly Toynbee (who also writes for The Guardian), a short story, a chance to vote on the current debate, consumer advice and tips, news from the world of health, horoscopes, readers' letters, and the Getaway feature which focuses on a particular foreign destination (this month it is Prague).
Every month, there is also a free prize draw for all Candis Club members. There are 4 prizes of £2500 each, and 400 £20 High Street Vouchers to be won in each issue. All you do is check your membership number against the winning ones printed in the magazine, and if your luck is in, tell Candis and claim your prize ! Of course, I've not won anything yet, but I check my number every month.
There are also other competitions in each month. Weekend breaks, holidays, cash, DVDs, books can all be won in this month's magazine alone.
As well as these regulars, there are lots of standalone articles. To give you an idea of the diversity of the content, I'll tell you what's featured in the April issue alone. There is an article about a Holocaust survivor, another one about people who have totally changed careers and gone into the caring profession, and one more about ordinary people who appear in films as extras.
Osteoporosis is featured in another article, as are the small animals that make such good pets. The Sunday roast, what drinks to serve with a meal, petunias, sore throats... The list goes on and on, and all of this in just one issue of a magazine that contains around 150 pages.
The rich diversity of articles is what I like about Candis, and the quality of the writing is in no way compromised by this. Every article is concise, full of relevant information, and extremely well-written.
How Much Does It Cost ? **************************** The cover price of the magazine is £2.50 each month. If you want to buy your first issue, then you have to pay the £3 annual Candis Club membership fee, and then the cost of the magazine. This can be done on your front doorstep with one of the publisher's sales team, or you can have it delivered by post each month. Being a member of Candis Club has lots of benefits in itself, and is very good value at just £3 per year.
You can order a subscription of Candis by phone, fax, post or online. The cost of an annual subscription is £27, and this includes the £3 membership fee, so you save £6 on the cover price.
If you choose to order online, then at the moment, you will receive a £5 shopping voucher. And if you decide to pay by direct debit, you will receive a set of 6 garden -related prints worth £14.99.
All in all, pretty good value I think you'll agree, especially when you weigh up all the other benefits that you get.
What Is Candis Club ? ************************* Having already said that Candis magazine is for members of the Candis Club, I'd better now explain what the club is all about. In simple terms, its purpose is to provide benefits to its members, organise social activities for them, and thirdly, to support health related charities.
The benefits are -
Home insurance ) Travel insurance ) all at exclusive rates Pet insurance )
Discounts on MOTs, servicing and repairs for your car, and a free winter safety check
Exclusive member holidays (eg Tuscany,Brussels, Andalucia and Wales are just a few of the ones in 2004)
Special offers on products Special rates on Green Flag motor assistance Airport parking discounts Travel Club discounts on ABTA tour operators' holidays 10% off Pontins holidays 10-15% off Warner holidays
Personal accident cover automatically for all members and spouses of up to £2500
Theme park discounts when booking in advance by phone 25% off at Legoland 20% off at Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park, Madame Tussauds and the London Planetarium.
Through the money raised from sales of the magazine, Candis Club donates vast amounts of money to health related charities. In 2002, over £1 million was donated, and since May 1962, almost £48 million has been given. Charities that have benefited include -
Cancer & Polio Research Fund National Asthma Campaign Macmillan Cancer Relief Marie Curie Cancer Care BLISS (premature babies) British Heart Foundation ICAN
As well as donations to these well-known charities, Candis Club members can nominate local charities and causes that they feel deserve a little help from the club. Or they can nominate a project that they know about for a Candis Club Community Award of up to £1000.
The magazine contains details of the latest awards / donations, and also highlights the work done by the larger charities. In this way, you know what the money is being spent on.
Conclusion ************* Candis Magazine is excellent. The quality of its content, whether it be the subject matter or the writing itself is top class. It is informative, thought-provoking and entertaining. Serious issues are combined with humour to give a magazine that covers the whole spectrum of writing.
Added to this, you get all the benefits detailed previously, and you get to help charities that really need your assistance. The money that has been donated is very impressive, and is something that Candis Club members can be proud of.
I would recommend anyone and everyone to at least read one issue of the magazine, and thus see for yourself how good it is.
And here's how you can do just that. The website invites you to obtain a FREE copy of the magazine. You can do this in various ways.
You can get your FREE copy by -
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
phone - 0870 745 3004
post - Candis Subscriptions Freepost Newhall Lane Hoylake Wirral CH47 4YZ
Candis magazine is published by Newhall Publications Ltd.