Canadian Rental Service

Editorial – June 2013

Patrick Flannery   

Features Business Intelligence

This magazine really likes the CRA, and we are not even owned by it.

This magazine really likes the CRA, and we are not even owned by it.

I sincerely hope you have better things to think about than the ownership of this magazine. However, since we are here I thought I’d clear up a little misunderstanding that seems to be out there in the rental world. While Canadian Rental Service enjoys a very close, friendly and mutually beneficial relationship with the Canadian Rental Association, we are not actually part of the association or in any way employed or contracted by it. We have an agreement in place where we are recognized as the association’s “preferred media partner” and in return we provide some ad space and run the President’s Message column. This is referred to in the industry as a “contra” agreement and no money changes hands. The magazine is owned by Annex Business Media, a privately held publisher in Simcoe, Ont., and derives almost all of its revenues from advertising.

This might matter to you slightly more than you know. Because we depend on advertisers for our salaries, we have a rather strong incentive to deliver the advertisers a product they find valuable. What do advertisers find valuable? You. In order for us to make money, we have to deliver your eyes and interest, nine times per year in print and at least three or four times per week online. There are a lot of ways we could do that, but we have chosen to attract your interest by telling you stories and giving you information that helps you run your business. This creates a good environment for our advertisers, because they know our readers are actively looking for business-related information as opposed to other diversions.

So our independent model means we have to deliver top-notch, trusted business information to you. Could we still do that if we were owned by the CRA? Sure. But when it came to reporting on the CRA itself, or even on matters in which the CRA has an interest, our integrity would come into question.


This brings me full circle back to the reason I am talking about this topic, which is probably of far more interest to me than to you. When I hear that someone is under the impression we are owned by the association, it concerns me. Not because the association is not a good thing, but precisely because it is a good thing. It does no good for me to extol the benefits of the CRA if no one believes what I say. It is important for you to know that I am not saying what I say about the association because I’m paid by it. I’m not. I’m saying those things because, in my view, they are true, and I need to pass along true information to you so that you will keep reading.

I am free as your editor to say in this magazine whatever I want and to present whatever information I see fit, within the boundaries of professionalism and responsibility.  The only test I have to meet is whether what I am saying is of interest and of worth to you, the Canadian rental operator.

I know I say a lot of nice things about the CRA, and maybe that has created the impression in some places that we are more closely affiliated than we are. Well, now you know the truth, and I think that only makes my past comments all the stronger. 

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