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February 28, 2011
Is Thomson Reuters Going to Be a Sponsor for AALL's Annual Meeting in Philly This Year?
I doubt AALL has quietly banned Thomson Reuters from sponsoring Philly 2011 since the Company did provide pricing information AALL asked for to produce the current edition of the Price Index. Well, let's put it this way, if AALL has banned Thomson Reuters, has anyone read anything in one of our association's official publications? Perhaps I missed it.
If I didn't miss an announcement, if AALL hasn't quietly banned Thomson Reuters from sponsorship, what wrong with the below screen capture taken on Feb. 27, 2011 from the annual meeting sponsorship web page? My first thought is AALL's web staff simply hasn't updated the page with a TR Legal banner. Considering the timeliness of AALL website updating, this is a plausible explanation. Due note, last year TR Legal was a "Silver" category sponsor and, at the moment, there is a big gaping hole in the list of "Silver" category sponsors.
A second possibility is TR Legal is still counting its pennies, trying to decide how much to contribute. This, too, is a plausible explanation. TR Legal's 2010 4Q financials were a bit nasty. Profit margin came in at 26.3%. But even West Publishing pre-acquisition sponsored AALL annual meetings and pre-acquisition West's profit margin was typically in the 25% range.
A third possibility is that Thomson Reuters simply isn't going to toss AALL any sponsorship $$. Well, buying up Latin American legal publishing and Indian legal outsourcing firms, running the parallel universe of TR Legal hosted gatherings at AALL meetings, and staffing up the exhibit hall does cost a fair amount of money. Is this a plausible explanation? Is the $255 million TR Legal earned in 2010 4Q already spent?
AALL's Sponsorship Opportunities notice does not include a deadline for vendor sponsorship committments. I quess we will just have to wait and see which of the above three explanations plays out. Of course, there is a fourth possibility, namely, realizing that the "partnership" rhetoric didn't work, TR Legal's marketing gurus just decided that institutional buyers in the Shed West Era and unexpected push-back on WestlawNext pricing means we aren't all that important in TR Legal's marketing grand scheme of things. [JH]