Despite the fact that the recreational vehicle industry has continued to fare well over the past year, the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) magazine advertising revenues generally have not recovered from a slump that began in 2000, FMCA Executive Director Don Eversmann told the 128,812 active members of the motorhome enthusiasts’ organization in his fall report to FMCA’s governing board.
“Family Motor Coaching continues to experience lower advertising revenues, but things seem to have stabilized at this time,” Eversmann stated in his report, published in the October issue of the Cincinnati-based club’s monthly Family Motor Coaching magazine.
“Motorhome manufacturers and dealers are not returning to their previous levels of expenditures. It also appears that they may be moving to other forms of promoting their products, such as developing their own magazines and marketing programs. They are concentrating on the sales that are developed through the loyalty of their customers.”
Fortunately for the fiscal equilibrium of the association, added Eversmann, expenditures at FMCA have been reduced at the same time that advertising revenues have decreased. “FMCA continues to solicit advertising accounts,” he added. “Family Motor Coaching magazine, the most appreciated member benefit, continues to generate approximately one half of the association’s revenue.”
Cognizant of the ongoing trend, FMCA’s Governing Board, at the request of its executive committee, approved a bylaw change in the last quarter of 2003 authorizing a $10-per-year dues increase — after 23 years of remaining at the same level.
The Governing Board also moved to permit its membership to pay advance dues at the older discounted rate during the first quarter of 2004.
That idea was well received by FMCA’s members, who spent $1,153,580 on prepaid dues in the first quarter of 2004, as 9.2 percent of FMCA’s membership, or 11,941 members, took advantage of the opportunity to purchase dues at the old discounted rate.
Eversmann pointed out that the dues increase resulted in only a 0.25 percent loss of membership – much less than some organizations experience in similar situations.