That’s Life magazine is giving away more prizes than ever in this week’s edition — but only because of a “typographical error”.   The weekly magazine’s “12 Days of Christmas” competition is providing a lot more Christmas joy than intended. In fact, if all the excess prizes created by the mistake were redeemed it could cost That’s Life, owned by Seven Network subsidiary Pacific Magazines, up to $2 million, say sources. Little wonder then that Pacific Magazines gave retailers notice that magazine supplier Gordon and Gotch would yesterday be “sending trucks ASAP” to pick up the “full copy returns — including the coverwrap”. By that stage however most copies of the magazine, which comes out on Wednesdays, would have already been sold. That’s Life has a weekly circulation of around 330,000. Apparently Seven is not yet sure of the number of people who could win nor how much it will cost them — the competition is randomly generated by computer and That’s Life will only know the full extent of the damage when prizes are redeemed. So they’re making the most of an unfortunate situation — by spinning it. 

  “We will honour our obligations to our readers,” said Seven spinner Simon Francis. “It’s Christmas and … we wish to assure that every winner will win a prize. That — as they say — is life. Our loyal readers are always winners with That’s Life.” It’s an “honourable admission” according to Today Tonight — a handy outlet for the network to have when it wants to mitigate fallout from incidents involving other members of the Seven family. Last night the current affairs show aired a piece about That’s Life‘s “gigantic free-for-all” by chatting to grateful recipients of a Christmas hamper windfall.  “Thank you That’s Life. That’s all I can say,” says longtime That’s Life reader Karen who when asked by TT “What difference does this make for Christmas for you?” responds “A lot at the moment”.  Another concerned reader tells TT, “I just hope they can sort it out without going out of business”. Warm and fuzzies all round then. Well except at the Crikey bunker. The recall campaign was obviously pretty successful — Crikey tried to pick up as many copies as possible today but to no avail. Our one copy, purchased yesterday, was not a prize winner.  C’est la vie.

Peter Fray

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