I go to the Argus office to place the Lions book fair ad in the Leader for 1 January and the Argus for 2 January. I explain that I want to re-run the ad with this reference, but that the date in the ad will need to be changed to Saturday, 3rd January. I ask if there will be a Leader printed next week as the usual publication day is a bank holiday.
‘No,' the lady tells me, ‘because it's a bank holiday.'
‘In that case, we'll just have the ad in the Argus on the Friday.'
‘You want me to take out the Leader?'
‘If you're not printing the Leader, I can't advertise in it.'
‘That will be £24.05.'
‘But we normally pay £16.08.'
‘Yes, but that's for a package in both the Leader and the Argus.'
‘You mean it's cheaper to buy two ads than just one?'
‘Yes, because that's a package which includes the Leader.'
‘But if you are not printing the Leader, I can't advertise in it.'
She goes away to make a phone call. Two minutes later:
‘There is a Leader next week and it's been printed in it.'
‘You mean you've printed our ad in next week's Leader?'
‘No, the deadline for ads was brought forward and that was printed in the Leader.'
I refrain from pointing out again that no Leader has been delivered to us for several weeks. The loose inserts have been, but not the paper itself.
‘I tell you what,' I say, ‘let's compromise. I'll book the ad in next week's Leader even though you can't print it because we've past the deadline.'
‘That'll be £10.65.'
I don't argue, but when I get home I see on the receipt that our ad will be in the Argus on 2 January and the Leader on 8 January.
Pass me that bottle of Scotch – I need a drink!