Making a difference
to consumers’ lives
Annual Review 2007/08
We exist to make individuals as powerful as the
organisations they have to deal with in their daily lives.
This power will come from independent advice and active
support to counter the morass of misleading information
and bewildering choices that people face all the time, and
From the Council Chairman
will lead to better products and services.
Whether it is in health or pensions legislation, reflect the views and interests of all subscribers
It will also come from ending unfairness in the way some food labelling or financial services, we have to Which? publications.
continued to make a positive difference to 2007/08 was a year of change. The Chairman
markets are structured and operate. consumers’ lives this year. of Which? Limited, Michael Moore, stood down
In our food campaigns, we have been really after 11 years’ dedicated service leading and
pleased to see several large companies making developing our commercial activities. Our sincere
Only by the actions of Which? can consumers feel truly major changes to their policies to benefit thanks go to him for everything he has done for
consumers. Both Warner Brothers and Disney Which?. Michael’s successor is Mike Clasper, who
confident, and powerful vested interests be kept in check. committed to phasing out the use of their cartoon brings a wealth of experience with him.
and film characters on less healthy foods –
something we had been lobbying for. We will
continue to challenge others to follow their lead.
We have made radical changes to
In personal finance, Which? has been active allow hundreds of thousands more
in the many debates around the level and members to vote in our annual
transparency of bank charges and will continue to
Contents fight on behalf of consumers to achieve a banking Council elections.
sector which is profitable and which meets the
need for transparency and fairness for everyone. Mike's most recent role was Operating Managing
Council Chairman’s statement 03 Every year we also identify the issues of Director at Terra Firma Capital Partners Limited.
the future that will impact on consumers. This Prior to this he was the Chief Executive of the airport
Chief Executive’s statement 04 year we kicked off some significant work on owner BAA, and spent 23 years at Procter and
nanotechnologies – the use of materials on a Gamble, culminating in his role as President of
minute scale, enabling them to take on new Global Homecare and New Business Development.
Chairman of the Board’s statement 05 properties which can be used to produce everything He is currently a non-executive director at ITV and
from cancer drugs to the coatings for self-cleaning has recently been appointed Chairman of HM
Saving families money 06 windows. Using a Citizens’ Panel, we learnt that Revenue and Customs.
while people are excited about the potential benefits Sadly, this year we said farewell to Which?
of nanotechnologies, they are also concerned about magazine’s first editor, Eirlys Roberts, who died
Which? products 08 the potential risks some applications present. We in March at the age of 97. Described by Which?
believe that research and regulation are not keeping founder Michael Young as ‘the most considerable
Making change happen 17 up with the pace of development and are calling on figure to have been thrown up by the British
government to take swifter and more decisive action consumer movement’, Eirlys transformed the
to ensure these new technologies can be positive for early magazine into the trusted and courageous
Financial summary 20 consumers, rather than an unnecessary risk. publication it remains today.
Away from campaigns, we have made radical
Council members and directors 22 changes to allow hundreds of thousands more of our Robert Pickard
members to vote in our annual Council elections, as Council Chairman
long as they have subscribed to one of our products
for at least a year. Previously, around 10,000
Ordinary Members – fewer than two per cent of our
subscribers – were eligible to vote. We believe that
the composition of Which?’s governing body should
From the Chief Executive From the Chairman of the Board
This year we can look back over the success As people tighten their belts, Which? has I am delighted to have taken on the role of Which? Computing also showed strong growth,
we have had in finding better ways of engaging a unique role to play. We save people money Chairman of Which? Limited and am proud to increasing subscriber numbers by seven per
with our customers and look forward to not only in buying big-ticket items like TVs, be associated with such a trusted brand. For more cent during the year. Elsewhere, Which? Holiday
developing new products and ventures that but in everyday purchases too, and when than 50 years, Which? has fought on the side of and Which? Gardening showed modest declines.
will continue to benefit consumers in an era buying unavoidable items like car insurance. the consumer, not afraid to take on some of the The redesigned Good Food Guide 2008 was
of growing economic uncertainty. In addition to all of this, we continue to biggest names in business on their behalf. I am received extremely positively by consumers and
achieve positive changes for consumers through very much looking forward to working here and, critics alike and the title was sold out by early
our campaigning work. Earlier this year, our bank in particular, to helping the organisation realise summer. And we also launched the new Good
In 2007/08 we achieved a long-term charges campaign scored a major victory when the massive potential for getting our invaluable Food Guide London, our first foray into regional
ambition with the introduction of a the Office of Fair Trading won its court case and independent advice to an even wider titles for many years.
against banks on unfair overdraft charges. audience online.
Which? product to the high street. In the coming year, we will be developing our I am pleased to say that one of my first duties
policy in three key new areas of the environment, is to report a third successive year of growth in There are significant challenges in
In June this year, after many months’ hard utilities and regulation. both subscriber numbers and revenue. This is the new economic climate of 2008
work, we launched a completely redesigned We also held the second Which? Awards a particularly strong performance given the
and restructured which.co.uk. Users have told ceremony this year, celebrating the very best of generally tough trading conditions for print
us the website looks more modern and that UK products and services, from Best Carmaker to publishers and the tightening economic climate.
it is much easier to find what they need. We Best Value-for-Money Retailer. The event attracted Our total subscription numbers grew by 5.8 per Finally, Which? Legal Service extended
will continue to refine and develop our online even more business interest this year and our aim cent to almost 1.1 million in the year to the end its product range this year, adding neighbour
offering in the coming year, to ensure we is to make it a regular and important part of the of June 2008, and our total in-year revenues by disputes and private tenancy issues to the advice
reflect the latest consumer trends and interests. corporate calendar. 11 per cent. it gives consumers. It ended the year with
In 2007/08 we achieved a long-term Through the information we provide and the Which? Online continues to be a significant 14 per cent more subscribers than in 2006/07.
ambition with the introduction of a Which? actions we take, Which? is dedicated to making success story, particularly considering that There are significant challenges in the new
product to the high street. For the first time consumers as powerful as the organisations they content from its online competitors is free to economic climate of 2008 and beyond. We
in our history, we are selling Which? Car on deal with every day. We will strive to find new use; evidence of the willingness of people to pay firmly believe, however, that people will see the
the newsstand, exclusively in Sainsbury’s. To ways to meet this goal in the year ahead. for truly independent content. Which? Online importance of rigorous, independent testing and
date, sales have far exceeded all expectations. subscriptions grew by 17 per cent. Nevertheless, no-nonsense, unbiased advice in helping them save
Last year I told you about the early success Peter Vicary-Smith the Board is conscious of the ever-increasing pace money and buy good-value products and services.
of Which? Money. This year it has continued Chief Executive at which we need to develop our online offering
its meteoric rise, almost doubling its membership and, during the year, oversaw a significant Mike Clasper
to 53,000. This confirms it as the UK’s investment programme in our online services. Which? Limited Chairman
bestselling personal finance magazine by Alongside this significant growth in online
some margin. Its unique blend of practical, subscriptions, we also managed to grow the
independent, research-based advice proved overall number of subscriptions to our portfolio
extremely popular as consumers became more of magazines by two per cent.
conscious of looking for ways to make their Which? magazine numbers were held roughly
money go further. level, closing the year with 516,000 subscribers.
Which? Family Opting for a nearly-new
car rather than a brand new
model saved more than
Saving families £9,000, and financing the
vehicle with a Best Buy loan,
instead of borrowing from a
bank, saved more than £60.
money all year Darren said: “We bought a
Toyota Verso diesel, from a
dealer who gave us a
round 12-month warranty. This
vehicle was far more economic
than our previous VW Golf
and gave us the versatility
of carrying other family
Raising a family, holding We have given Darren and more confident and savvy. If you do members instead of taking
Toni Jones, and their children, your research and go prepared, you two vehicles on trips, again
down a job, doing the
Harriet and Sam, the ultimate can tell providers exactly what you saving us money.”
housework… No wonder makeover – 12 months of want and expect, whether it’s a
parents find it hard to hands-on advice, Best Buy savings account, a vacuum cleaner
spare the time to research products and support from or a trip to a theme park. Being
whether they’re getting the Which? team. the ‘Which? Family’ has made
In the first six months alone, us more confident in dealing
the best deals for their we saved them thousands with companies and much more Around £150 a year was saved
money. That’s where of pounds, recommending proactive in getting the best deal by changing energy provider.
Which? comes in, doing Best Buy products and services for us and our kids.” The Joneses used our Switch with
on everything from finance and Which? website to do this, saying:
the legwork so that busy
recycling to cars and vacuum “It took us only a few minutes to
consumers don’t have to. cleaners. fill in the online forms.”
In the past year, we’ve Here’s what Darren and Toni
taken up the challenge said about the experience: Transferring money from a savings
“We’ve benefited immensely account to a high-interest Isa
with one particular earned them an extra £270 a year.
from the whole process – our
family, to show others mindset as consumers has “I should have set up an Isa years ago”,
how they can do it too. changed and we’re much said Darren. “Ten minutes of my time
to open an account online could earn
me up to £270 extra this year.”
How did Which?
save the Jones Choosing the most
family so dryer will save the Joneses
at least £65 a year. Toni
said: “The model we chose
much cash? dries clothes much quicker
than our old machine. We’re
By using the Which? team’s expertise,
also using the washing line
Toni and Darren, pictured here with
Harriet and Sam, have made sure much more, which should
their hard-earned money is being save us even more money
spent wisely. on our electricity bills.”
2007/08 was our 50th anniversary year. Here is
A track record what three of Which?’s longstanding members
had to say about us.
like no other How do you think Which?
has helped consumers over
the past 50 years?
Why did you first join Which?
For more than half 2007/08 was dominated by Our goal is
“ The advice given in Which?
the magazine’s 50th birthday –
“In 1987, I was a building surveyor over the past 50 years has made
a century, Which? to be more in local government, in charge of a many people more sceptical
celebrated with a memorable essential to multimillion-pound budget for housing about accepting claims at face
magazine has been October edition, when we more of our grants. I was aware of cowboy value and must have helped
helping consumers reproduced every front cover from readers for builders and wanted to know improve overall reliability and
make informed our history – all 587 of them. more of their more about how to offer sound service. The magazine is in
We also published a special time – and advice to the public and protect plain English, concise and there
decisions about how supplement that recalled many we believe householders (and my budget) is always something of interest.
they spend their of our successes – from rating our balance from fraud, overcharging and Which? has made me more
money. And it’s as contraceptives to bringing about of reporting on consumer durables, substandard work. I read a copy discerning about what I buy
safer cars, via the occasional money products and a widening array of Which? and decided that and helped prevent what could
relevant today as
improved washing machine of services helps us to achieve this. becoming a member would be of have been expensive mistakes.”
when it started. and more reliable television set. The annual Which? Car guide grew personal as well as professional Robert Thurman
During the year, we tested more to 148 pages this year, with nearly advantage. Little did I realise that
than 2,600 different products and 100,000 members contributing to I would still feel it worthwhile
rated an increasing number of our motoring survey – making it the 20 years later.”
everyday items. This is of growing largest piece of research of its kind Gerry Baker
importance as we seek to save even in the UK.
more money for our members.
Would you recommend
Which? to a friend?
“Yes.Which? gives good, impartial
assessments of products and practical
advice. We first joined when we were
starting out in our new home. We
wanted the best-value and most
reliable products to kit it out. We
used the magazine to buy our first
washing machine, an Indesit, which
lasted 15 years. For major purchases
we always check the Which? Best
Buys first because there is always
good product testing and assessment.”
Which? Online Which? Money
Yours at a click
Some prefer to get
This was a year of significant change
for Which? Online.
In summer 2008 we relaunched
which explains how to connect your
home entertainment equipment for
optimal enjoyment, is the most
some prefer online.
Many people use
the Which? website to give a much
improved service to members and
non-members alike. As the website
was developed, it was tested with
comprehensive tool of its kind on
We also launched two completely
new content areas on our website:
sense of your money
both. Which? Online many people to ensure the final ‘Your rights’, a thorough guide to
has been developing service was useful and simple to consumer law in the UK, and There are so many Which? Money has enjoyed products, covering everything from
fast in 2008 to use. In addition to the core ‘Reviews’ ‘Greener living’, a range of practical another very successful year. cash Isas to credit cards. Members
part of the website, the new service advice for the environmentally Membership rose by 85 per choosing our Best Buys and following
meet consumers’ around – but how do you
also offers a comprehensive ‘Advice’ conscious consumer. cent, making the magazine our money-saving tips could have
changing needs. area that provides a wide range of To encourage more people to use know which are sound the UK’s bestselling monthly saved up to £36,000 over 12
information on a variety of topics, the services that we provide, Which? personal finance title. months – a great return on an
and which are not? Our
Visit our website at from computing and photography, Compare now offers an online price During the year, the annual subscription of £36.
to financial guidance. comparison service that is available researchers have been magazine’s research team picked
During 2007/08 Which? Online to non-members too. finding out. more than 600 Best Buy money
to read reviews, also embraced multimedia and The campaigns area of our
obtain advice and get interactive content. Each month website has also had a makeover,
up-to-date prices. the Which? podcast attracted now featuring detailed information
thousands of listeners keen to hear on five of our key campaign
the latest Which? news and advice. priorities, as well as a host of other
We published a wide range reports offering consumers advice
of online videos, including our first on topics as diverse as estate agents How Which? Money helped the
impressions of just- and dentists. There are also plenty MacKinnons recoup £35,000
launched products of ways for consumers to join in
This year we have taken action
and cars and a with our campaigns online, from
on behalf of consumers who have
range of step-by- downloading template letters to
bought poor-value payment
step guides. help them claim back unfair bank
protection insurance (PPI) – those
And we believe charges, to sharing their stories
policies which are heavily sold to
that our TV about the marketing of junk food
consumers when they take out loans
connection wizard, to children.
and credit cards and which claim to
cover their debt repayments if they
When PPI, costing a staggering £22,568, was added to
Shirley and Bob MacKinnon’s £56,000 loan, the Which?
‘ I just had to congratulate you on your new Money and Which? legal teams took up a mis-selling
complaint against their lender and the PPI provider. It took
website. It is much, much better than the well over a year, but in the end the lender upheld the complaint
old one. It’s easier to navigate and has and reduced the loan redemption figure from £80,794 to
£56,000. The PPI provider also gave a refund on the
a much fresher, more modern look. Well insurance of £9,619, added interest and a goodwill payment
to this and sent the MacKinnons a cheque for £11,000.
done Which?. ’ Bob and Shirley said: “ We didn’t know where to turn as
no one was listening to us – until we asked Which? for help.”
Which? Computing Which? Holiday
Keeping it simple Don’t get
As PCs and laptops
become a part of almost
Which? Computing increased its
membership by 10,000 during
2007/08, ending the year with readers’
every home and new 150,000 subscribers. tips, which
It’s a wonder people go The fiasco of the launch of way through the travel maze.
hardware and software The Which? Computing have proved Heathrow’s Terminal 5, tales We’ve highlighted costly extras
helpdesk remained popular, a big hit with on holiday when you
promise the earth, of lost luggage and anger over charged by no-frills airlines, kept
receiving 12,000 emails asking members. see what a struggle airline surcharges – there have readers updated about airport
Which? Computing is for support, an increase of 2,000 In the next 12 months, we look it can be sometimes. been plenty of travel headlines security checks and offered advice
becoming many people’s on the previous year. forward to a radical redesign of in the media over the past 12 on what to do if your flight is
We’ve also produced new guides the magazine, to make the content In 2007/08, much
first port of call for months. delayed or cancelled.
on a wide range of issues, including even more appealing to readers. of Which? Holiday’s And with so many consumers We are continually improving
independent, down- computer troubleshooting and focus was on helping confused about flight rights, the magazine, in content and design,
to-earth advice. broadband. baggage allowances and airline with the aim of assisting readers as
passengers who got
check-in charges, Which? Holiday they plan and book every trip, saving
a raw deal. has given readers all the facts and time and money along the way.
figures they need to make their
How Which? Computing got Barbara’s
broadband working again
The Which? Computing helpdesk took to the road this Which? Gardening
year, visiting some of our members to help them with
their IT problems.
Barbara Riley (pictured) was one reader who
benefited. When her new broadband connection failed,
we sent our technical expert Omar round to take a look.
He inspected the PC and
In the know
its equipment and soon
got to the bottom of the
as you grow in every issue mean subscribers’
delighted. She said: “I
experiences are more than ever
had had no joy with my
In a tough market Practical articles such as pot at the heart of the magazine.
internet service provider,
for gardening recipes, easy-to-make themed So too are consumer issues, with
but once Which? got
borders and ‘step-by-step’ revamped news pages and hard-
on board, it changed publications, Which? projects have seen members busy hitting research, such as the seed
everything. Which? Gardening held its recreating them at home. And, suppliers’ report in our October
sorted it out for me and
own this year. always conscious of the effect of 2007 issue. This exposed one
the Chief Executive of
the credit crunch on our readers, company selling packets where 99
my broadband provider
we have been focusing more on per cent of the seeds were dead.
even got in touch to
money-saving initiatives like These reports have also generated
growing your own vegetables. coverage for Which? Gardening in
A new readers’ letters page, more the media – taking these issues to
case studies and a reader’s garden a wider audience.
Which? Books Which? Legal Service
Much more than Legal advice
a good read you can trust
The relaunch of The The new look and feel of our Some 20,000 people voted for Which? Legal Service Our team of 14 lawyers advised The service was expanded in
Good Food Guide met flagship book, The Good Food Guide, their Good Food Guide Restaurant helped more members on over 45,000 calls and February 2008 and now includes
was an instant success when it came of the Year, compared with 6,000 membership grew by 14 per cent. advice on private residential
with widespread out in autumn 2007; sales increased the year before.
than ever in 2007/08, The most popular areas of advice tenancy issues and neighbour
approval this year. by 20 per cent and for the first time 2007/08 also saw the launch on a wide range were employment law, holiday disputes. To enable people to call
in recent history the book sold out. of more Essential Guides, including of issues. and travel complaints, and unfair us at more convenient times for
Members enjoyed a half-price successful new editions of key parking tickets and fines. We them, we also extended our
promotion to help celebrate consumer titles on tax, finance helped secure one member opening hours.
Which?’s 50th birthday and major and property. In total, we published Visit our website at an employment settlement of
retailers such as Waterstones and 10 new titles in this range. www.whichlegalservice.co.uk £158,000 with advice given
Borders also ran promotions. over the course of the year –
excellent value for his £39
What did people say about the new Good Food Guide?
“ I look at many guides… and must confess I think this is the most
user-friendly version out there. The writing itself has a real crisp,
modern vibe about it that makes it stand out from the crowd.”
Switch with Which?
‘The website was
really easy to
Where are the navigate and we
were surprised by
In praise of the Which?
Essential Guide: Buy,
Sell and Move House
best deals? how easy it was
to switch. We
“ It’s a marvellous book. We have
found our ideal house in Sussex Price rises from
and are in the process of buying
This year, more than 16,000
people used our impartial,
the fact that you
and selling. I have the book at
hand and I read appropriate early in 2008 saw
energy-switching service to could select a
change their gas and electricity
sections every day. Without it use of Switch with supplier, both online and by supplier based
I feel I would be overwhelmed telephone. We have also
by all the things one must do Which? grow
expanded the website to include
on criteria other
and the order in which to do
them. Compared to our last move,
dramatically. more information about energy
efficiency, and to provide more
than price ’
this one is going to be more Visit Switch with Which? at regular news updates on price
straightforward and less stressful. changes. and campaigning activities in
This book is a MUST for people www.switchwithwhich.co.uk
Elsewhere in our work, we’ll the coming year – looking more
looking to buy, sell or move house.” be turning the spotlight on closely at just how well they
energy companies in our policy are serving their customers.
Which? Local Making change happen
For the best Consumers
in your area speak out
Which? Local, a free Some 72,000 members registered In the coming year, we’re going to The voice of the consumer The Kids’ Food Campaign
online service enabling with the site, which now includes redesign the site, add advice on the is essential to Which?’s mobilised people to take action
more than 12,000 recommendations typical cost you can expect to pay for by, for example, emailing their
Which? members to campaigning work, and in MP to support a Private Member’s
for local services, covering over work and encourage users to post
recommend reliable 250 trades and professions. more content. 2007/08 we have been Bill proposing restrictions to
services and shops actively engaging people the promotion of unhealthy
foods to children. Hundreds of
in their own to ensure that their consumers took advantage of this
neighbourhoods, has views and experiences opportunity to make their views
gone from strength to How Which? Local helped David save £720 heard. We have also distributed
David deals with the upkeep of an office building and has a central thousands of campaign packs
strength this year. and industry directly.
heating maintenance contract with a major gas supplier. It performed and bags so that people can
its annual service and replaced the pump in the boiler but, shortly take action themselves.
Which? Local is for the after, air started getting into the radiators, making it necessary to Find out more about We have worked directly with
exclusive use of subscribers bleed them daily. Following eight appointments – four our campaigns at several hundred people on our As part of our campaign for
to Which?.Visit the website of which it missed – the supplier suggested that a Powerflush was the campaign to change the way change, Norwich Union and
solution and quoted £840. financial services companies Prudential customers wrote to their
at www.which-local.co.uk Feeling the quote was a little high, David looked on Which? Local govern their with-profits funds. MPs demanding action and also
and found a local plumber, who said he could do the work for around We believe that people who have attended a photocall to highlight the
half the price. When he came to inspect the system, however, he policies in these funds, which issue (read more about this overleaf).
said that the boiler pump had been installed backwards and that include endowments, pensions This followed the report by the
a Powerflush was and long-term investments, need Treasury Select Committee calling
not the answer. better protection than the current for many of the changes we have
The plumber regulations allow. been campaigning for.
spent a couple of
hours replumbing the
pipework and charged
David just £120
for the job.
How Which? helped Sarah take a stand against junk food marketing to kids
Which? is campaigning for an end to the marketing of unhealthy food to children. Sarah Edwards
is a parent and registered childminder who has used our campaign materials to take local action
on this issue.
“I’ve been a keen supporter of the Kids’ Food Campaign since I saw it in
Which? magazine last year,” said Sarah. “It’s a subject very close to my
heart, as I know the effects of junk food marketing on children only too
well. I’ve written to all the MPs in my local area to lobby them on the issue,
to let them know this is something people care passionately about. I wear
my campaign bag with pride, and I’ve given out campaign toolkits at the
children’s centres I work in. I also use the materials over the holidays when
I’m asked to talk to parents about labelling and the way food is marketed.
Thanks for your help – the resources make my job so much easier!”
Making change happen
‘Be honest with us’
‘There ought to be a law...’ This year saw Which? try also featured another ‘first’.
some new ways of working One of the main problems
Sometimes the only way to demand for an independent
with consumers. in this area is the lack of
tackle consumer problems is complaints scheme in the sector.
We took forward the first independent information.
by campaigning for new laws The Legal Services Act 2007 also
representative action on behalf of We launched an online
or amendments to government saw our proposals for greater
consumers against JJB Sports for the interactive human body so that
proposals. competition and better complaints
price fixing of certain football shirts. consumers could see at a glance the
2007/08 has seen the handling across the legal services
We helped consumers get their treatments available – as well as the
culmination of some of our profession finally make it onto
money back and are also pushing risks associated with them. We also
long-term campaigning for the statute book. We have also
government for changes to how brought together people from across
improvements to estate agency campaigned successfully for
these actions can be pursued in the country who had tried one
and legal services. The Consumers, improvements to the Health and
the future. particular treatment that not only own action group to press for
Estate Agents and Redress Act Social Care Bill, which is now law. regulator to actively consult and
Our new cosmetic treatments failed to live up to its promises compensation from the company
2007 introduced our long-term This requires the new health engage with consumers.
campaign, which is pressing for a but, in some cases, also made people concerned.
safer, more responsible industry, ill. We helped them set up their
‘I want my money back!’
Our campaigning not only How Which? helped Norwich Union policyholders
changes government policies Philip Meadowcroft is one of the Norwich Union policyholders
and industry practices, it also who jumped at the chance to support our campaign for a fair
helps consumers directly with deal for with-profits policyholders.
their problems. To publicise the issue, he joined other people affected at
Our website has helped an event near the Houses of Parliament – where ‘Dick Turpin’
hundreds of thousands of people (pictured) highlighted our view that the Financial Services
with their claims for the repayment Authority should ‘stand and deliver’ improvements for
of bank charges levied on consumers in this area.
unauthorised overdrafts, and we Afterwards, he said: “It was marvellous to meet other
were delighted when the Office of policyholders and witness the support we have on our side from
Fair Trading won the case in the politicians. As one of the founding members of an action group
High Court to allow it to decide for Norwich Union policyholders, I was incredibly impressed by
whether these charges are fair or Which?’s tenacity and dedication to our cause. The advice and
not. We have since put pressure encouragement you’ve provided has been outstanding.”
on the banks to withdraw their
appeal on the ruling, which is
due to be heard in autumn 2008.
We also launched a new
initiative to ensure that people
who have been mis-sold payment
protection insurance (PPI) could
complain and reclaim their money.
Our latest research suggests that
up to two million PPI policies
attached to personal loans may
not pay out and could have been
Independent How we spent our money
and growing At £66.3m, expenditure during
the year was up 10 per cent on
the previous year. This was due
in part to an increase in the cost
and website, where we are striving
to be number one in our field.
The remaining expenditure was
on promoting consumer interests
performance and economic
benefits, the asset has not been
recognised in the balance sheet.
of sales following membership through our campaigning and
In a challenging Consumers’ Association, which In 2007/08, our income increased increases and the change in media activities and our support
trades as Which?, is registered by 11 per cent, to £69.4m, driven in magazine dispatch dates. There for other consumer organisations. This financial summary contains
economic climate, we information from our financial
in England and Wales and is a part by a 5.8 per cent subscriber rise was also significant investment In addition, all our publications
have increased our statements for the 2007/08 financial
charity (no. 296072). Which? that took our membership to nearly in the online side of the business, play a vital role in promoting year but is not the full statutory report
income this year. Ltd is its wholly-owned trading 1.1 million. Also, following the with the aim of providing a much our campaigns to consumers. and accounts. The full financial
arm (company no. 677665). bringing forward of several magazine improved customer experience statements were approved by the
Here’s a snapshot Council of Management on
Which? is completely dispatch dates into the previous and allowing new functionality Balance sheet & reserves
of our finances in independent, receives no
24 September 2008 and will be
month, which is normal practice in to drive new revenue opportunities. Our reserves at 30 June 2008 submitted to the Charity Commission
2007/08. government funding and does publishing, there was a one-off uplift Promotion costs were also up, were up £0.6m, with the unrealised and Companies House. They received
not accept advertising. The vast in income of £3.9m. reflecting our spend on attracting losses on investments reducing the an unqualified audit report. Ordinary
majority of income comes from We spent £66.3m during the year and retaining customers, plus impact of the underlying surplus. Members of Which? receive the full
statements automatically. If you are
subscriptions to our products and and ended the year with net incoming expenditure on the 2007 Which? The FRS 17 pension scheme
not an Ordinary Member and would
services, with profits funding resources of £3.1m. After other TV campaign. surplus at 30 June 2008 was like a copy, go to www.which.co.uk to
our campaigning activity and recognised gains and losses were Of our charitable expenditure, £3.6m. Given considerable read them online or write to us at the
informing the public on taken into account, there was a net 76 per cent was on the research uncertainty and volatility around address on the back of this review.
consumer issues. increase in funds of £0.6m. we carried out for our magazines scheme assumptions, investment
24% How the charity
Promoting spends its money
Subscriber numbers Spending on campaigning
2008 1,098,000 The growth in membership (up 60,000 Food 34%
2007 1,038,000 to 1,098,000) was primarily due to Health 27%
increases in Which? Online, Which? Personal finance 12%
Computing and Which? Money. Which?
2005 842,000 Conferences, events & launches 9%
magazine membership remained virtually
2004 831,000 level, while Which? Gardening and Retailing & consumer transactions 9%
Which? Holiday recorded small Others (including online) 6%
The 2004 figure excludes Health
Which?, closed in June 2004 declines in subscriptions. Scottish Office 3%
Executive management team
2007/8 committee members
Council members Joint Audit Committee
Robert Pickard (Chairman) Neville Duncan (Chairman)
Patrick Barwise Margaret Ginman
Anthony Burton (Deputy Chairman) Gary Waller
Neville Duncan Investment Committee
Margaret Ginman Brian Yates (Chairman)
Tanya Heasman (Deputy Chairman) Patrick Barwise (from January 2008)
Sue Leggate Elizabeth Llewellyn-Smith (until January 2008)
Elizabeth Llewellyn-Smith (until January 2008) Michael Moore (until June 2008)
Natalie Macdonald (from January 2008) Roger Pittock (from January 2008)
Gabs Makhlouf (from September 2007) Mark Tapley (from April 2008)
Peter Vicary-Smith Helen Parker Chris Gardner Roger Pittock Gary Waller (from March 2008)
Chief Executive Editorial Director Commercial Director John Rimington (until January 2008)
Richard Thomas (from February 2008) Terms of Service Committee
Gary Waller Robert Pickard (Chairman)
James Woodward-Nutt Mike Clasper (from July 2008)
Steve Woolgar Niall Dickson
Brian Yates Tanya Heasman
Christopher Zealley (until January 2008) Natalie Macdonald (from January 2008)
John Zealley Michael Moore (until June 2008)
John Rimington (until January 2008)
Which? Limited Board
Mike Clasper (Chairman from July 2008)
Daniel Bogler (from October 2007)
Neil Cameron (from September 2007)
Terence Connor (until July 2007)
Helen McCallum Martin Webster Natalie Macdonald
Policy and Communications Finance and Operations Michael Moore (Chairman until June 2008)
Director Director Robert Pickard To request a large-type, text-only copy of
Jonathan Thompson this review, please call 01992 822800
Peter Vicary-Smith and speak to one of our customer
Gary Waller services representatives.
Standing (from left) Natalie Macdonald Gabs Makhlouf
John Zealley Richard Thomas Margaret Ginman
Gary Waller Roger Pittock Niall Dickson
Neville Duncan Patrick Barwise
James Woodward-Nutt Seated (from left) Anthony Burton
Brian Yates Steve Woolgar (Deputy Chairman)
Sue Leggate Tanya Heasman This review is printed on paper accredited by the Programme
Robert Pickard (Chairman) (Deputy Chairman) for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC).
This guarantees that it comes from sustainable forests.
Which?, 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF
Phone: +44 (0)20 7770 7000 Fax: +44 (0)20 7770 7600
For all general and customer-related enquiries,
including all Which? magazine subscriptions.
Which?, Castlemead, Gascoyne Way, Hertford SG14 1LH
Phone: +44 (0)1992 822800 Fax: +44 (0)20 7770 7485
Monday-Friday 08.30-18.00 Saturday 09.00-13.00
Which? is the operational name of Consumers’ Association - a registered charity (no. 296072).
Please visit www.which.co.uk for information on our products and services